Anne-Marie Fyfe (b. Cushendall, Co. Antrim) has four collections of poetry including Understudies: New and Selected Poems (Seren Books, 2010); has won the Academi Cardiff International Poetry Prize; has run Coffee-House Poetry’s readings and workshops at London’s Troubadour since 1997, organises the annual Hewitt Spring Festival in the Glens of Antrim, and was chair of the Poetry Society from 2006-2009.
A day that starts with a skiff-load
of puppets on the Mere, a coat-rack
of Pressburger marionettes
in the parlour, a gold-lettered cabinet
displaying plaster heads
with arched looks
in the municipal clock museum.
The booth-lady at the picturehouse
is a glove, the red-bolero’d
usherette leads you
with her unsteady flashlight pool
to a row where each ticket-holder
bobs up and down
like a staggered pianola arpeggio
wires flickering in the carbide beam
and lets you sink into threadbare plush,
the ache of a day’s journey
tugging at the brass eyelets
in your elbows and creaking knees.