Martin Crucefix

Martin Crucefix
Martin Crucefix

Martyn Crucefix has won numerous prizes including a major Eric Gregory award and a Hawthornden Fellowship. He has published 5 collections, including An English Nazareth (Enitharmon, 2004) and Hurt (Enitharmon, 2010). His translation of Rilke’s Duino Elegies was shortlisted for the 2007 Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation and hailed as “unlikely to be bettered for very many years” (Magma). His translation of Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus was published in October 2012. Information can be found at poetrypf and Enitharmon Press.

Calling in the dark

As their son I hope to be
solicitous to the last
as three generations sit
by a dark Victorian sash
in a city pub, gazing out:
Sunday lunchtime, peaceful.
Even London translates
into something beautiful
as buses idle at the lights
quivering with spring rain.
Yet for the eldest two
the hours and minutes run:
their journey home is long,
both liable to fall,
he grows deaf, she finds it
exhausting to travel.
So I insist they call me,
if anything goes wrong.
Carefully, with her thumb,
she presses my number on
to her new mobile phone.
How many more such times?
On each occasion now,
the word is ’bye, goodbye.

My phone shakes with her.
I pick it up and hear them
(hers buried in her bag,
keys pressed at random)
and for a while I listen
to her irritable tone
as she repeats words for him,
certain they’re alone.
Now his anxious cry:
Look gal! It’s here! Here!
It’s painful to listen,
knowing they cannot hear
my voice muffled under
keys, compact, tissue paper,
my calling in the dark,
no more use than prayer.
Enough. I end the call.
I cannot bear to pry
on what is coming closer
and will carry them away.

Martyn Crucefix

published in collection, Hurt, (Enitharmon Press 2010)

ISBN 1-904634-97-3

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