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Blue by Lisa Coates

I was so used to seeing them

behind coke-bottle bottoms

that I never knew 

just how blue they were.

Not until I saw you lying in that hospital bed. 

You didn’t need glasses then, 

you struggled to open 

your eyes at all 

but you managed it for me 

and I was taken aback by the blue

so incongruous in that white room. 

Out of place 

in a face weary of fighting time and disease.

Two blue suns in an altostratus sky, 

struggling to shine. 

A colour pop in black and white, the corners 

vignetted for that agéd look.

It was blue who read aloud over 

my shoulder, observed

the road as I learned 

how to drive, gazed 

through the viewfinder 

capturing family moments on film.

Blue watched me grow.

The last time I saw blue, they asked 

if you knew who was there.

You opened your eyes and called me your darling.

You died at 8.05.

The 25th on a warm August day.

The sun shone.

The sky blue.


Lisa J Coates is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Yorkshire. She is a musician, writer, photographer and theatre maker. Her writing has been published in The Lady Magazine, and in the upcoming issue of South Bank Poetry Magazine. As a professional singer she has performed internationally in opera and on the concert platform, as well as recording for labels such as Delphian, Touch, and Naxos, and has appeared on television and BBC Radio 3. 


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