Poem in Which I Advise on Laundry

Cotton and silk can be got up nicely—but
don’t forget rayon. A semi-synthetic
made from woodchips, it washes and
packs like a dream. You can’t go wrong.
My first love was real.
We spoke just once, to tell our names.

Caution: bleach works for whites
but will fade your recurring patterns
of flowers and stars.
There are alternatives.
These days they’re all using optical brighteners.
They leave your life whole, but make it look better.
My first love was a boy on a bicycle.
Adjust your dosage according to need.
It was by a lake.
Night fell fast, the lights were globes
hung in elegant threes.
If you’d rather forget, try boiling, hard.
Some older marks will not come out.
You may have to cover the ones that show.

To keep your clothes fresh,
get a line to hang them on.
Mine goes all the way back.
He stood very still, over his bike.
Like a dog, it had its own expression.
He had one foot on a pedal,
one on the ground, lamplight on his face.
His friends stopped laughing.
Pegs are not costly.
Experiment till you find some
that will hold in a gale.
He can’t have been more than thirteen.
When our eyes met I was blown away.

Sarah Wedderburn

Poem in Which I fall

Push on, then one small falter:
how do we stand on two feet?
Doubt swings a sharp axe.

Felled, I watch a hundred
shoes skirt my spread coat,
crime scene with legs wide,

bag open-mouthed, slid
phone a cloud in a pond.
Are you all right? Stranger,

your gaze mothers over
my heaped puppet,
lunged ambition, dusty soles.

Sarah Wedderburn

Kathy

I watch but mustn’t
breathe your sweet
forbidden hope, my own
Ronette. Donned for out,
visionary in Coty mist

that falls like gold
leaf settling on an
icon, you smell pink,
your laugh a shiny
halo. I see nylons rasp

up legs with mushroom
sounds; from beehive tall
with oriental lacquer, let
birds and bees flutter
my outlawed heart.

Young farmers wait, the
van with straw and chits for
diesel on the floor is revving
by the pond. You scent it,
pony-like. I long to

be you, wear the black flicked
eyeline tails that prance
for action, pancake
thick and rosy, skimp
of costume squeaking over

bum, breast— taut, mauve—
and frosted lips, and white
shoes spiced with market
newness. We hear
wolves, softly whistling.

Sarah Wedderburn

Coming soon in Poems in Which Issue 4

The editors are delighted to announce the contributors for Issue 4:

Lutz Seiler translated by Alexander Booth

Melissa Lee-Houghton

Mark Waldron

Abigail Parry

Emma Hammond

Bobby Parker

Anat Zecharia translated by Irit Sela

Josephine Corcoran

Dollie Stephan

Samuel Prince

Francine Elena

Nicola Gledhill

Fiona Moore

Paul Stephenson

John Canfield

Alexander Speaker

Martha Sprackland

Eireann Lorsung

Joey Connolly

Anna Selby

Sarah Wedderburn

Karl Smith

Giles Goodland

and new artwork from Sophie Gainsley