Olga Dermott-Bond, Christmas day at 3 o’clock

Christmas day at 3 o’clock

Roads stilled like pond water. Daylight thin
as tissue paper, torn by three o’clock.
Phone wires hum and sway over cars huddling
in side streets. Lit windows are dominoes stuck
together, streets of matchbox houses beneath
ink-drawn trees, scrawny branches frail, black
with waiting for birdsong. The low sky creased,
its spine cracked blue, a dusty paperback.

Inside, Granddads sleep, warm as potatoes,
on sagging sofas beside trees spiced bright.
Clanking saucepans climb out of sinks, grow
up kitchen walls with wobbling water-light.

A hymn to the dark, to these days, to the years
that flicker past, flimsy ghosts of love that appear.

Olga Dermott-Bond is originally from Northern Ireland. A former Warwick Poet Laureate, she has had poetry and flash fiction published in a range of magazines, including Rattle, Magma, Strix, Cordite Review and Under the Radar. She was the winner of the BBC Proms poetry competition in 2019 and is a commissioned artist for Coventry City of Culture 2021. You can listen to her poetry on the podcast Bedtime Stories for the End of the World, episode 2. 

Olga’s first poetry collection apple, fallen will be published in March by Against the Grain Press. She is a teacher and has two daughters.


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