The Albatross

Kate Bass

About the Author: Kate Bass

Kate Bass was born in 1962 in northern London. She went to Edinburgh University and now resides in Cambridge, England as an illustrator. She's written a pamphlet called Onion House, a full length book entitled The Pasta Maker as well as poems. Her poems involve family, relationships, and child-raising.
Attached below you can watch a video of a poetry out loud contestant performing this poem, The Albatross.
Margot Lewis

The Albatross

When I know you are coming home

I put on this necklace:

glass beads on a silken thread,

a blue that used to match my eyes.

I like to think I am remembering you.

I like to think you don’t forget

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The necklace lies heavy on my skin,

it clatters when I reach down

to lift my screaming child.

I swing her, roll her in my arms until she forgets.

The beads glitter in the flicker of a TV set

as I sit her on my lap

and wish away the afternoon.

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I wait until I hear a gate latch lift

the turn of key in lock.

I sit amongst toys and unwashed clothes,

I sit and she fingers the beads until you speak

in a voice that no longer seems familiar, only strange.

I turn as our child tugs at the string.

I hear a snap and a sound like falling rain.


Below, I have attached a link to an analysis of the poem that I think describes the meaning of this poem very well.

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