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Rooms By The Sea, 1951

(Stories from Hopper #5)

Poet: Phil Kirby

He shows me a glimpse of a house

by the sea, stands me in what seems

to be a waiting room: plain, somewhat

discoloured walls, carpet butter yellow

where a shape of light falls through


the open door, which gives at once

onto the waves and far horizon.

While to the left another, furnished room:

bench seat, cupboard, picture hung just

out of view – all the trappings of a home.


The purpose of my waiting isn’t clear

at first. But he lets me stare at the blankness

until it comes to represent my indecision.

Only then a choice presents itself: comfort

in the other room, a door out to the blue.

Phil Kirby’s collections are ‘Watermarks’ (Arrowhead, 2009) and ‘The Third History’ (Lapwing, 2018). Recent poems in Acumen, Poetry Ireland, Stand and various UK and international magazines. He is now working towards a third collection. He is a member of the Fire River Poets in Taunton. Writing as P.K. Kirby, a teen novella, ‘Hidden Depths’ (Applefire, 2016), is available on Kindle.

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