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By Helen Mort

My weight is

four whippets,

two Chinese gymnasts,

half a shot-putter.

It can be measured

in bags of sugar, jam jars,

enough feathers for sixty pillows,

or a flock of dead birds

but some days it’s more

than the house, the span

of Blair Athol Road.

I’m the Crooked Spire

warping itself,

doubled up over town.

I measure myself against

the sky in its winter coat,

peat traces in water, air

locked in the radiators at night,

against my own held breath,

or your unfinished sentences,

your hand on my back

like a passenger

touching the dashboard

when a driver brakes,

as if they could slow things down.

I measure myself against

love — heavier, lighter

than both of us.

Source: Poetry (December 2015)

  • Activities
  • Living
  • Love

Poet Bio

Helen Mort
Helen Mort’s first collection, Division Street (Chatto & Windus, 2013), was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Costa Prize. Her second, No Map Could Show Them, is forthcoming. See More By This Poet

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