2020 top 5, Poem, Poetry

Number 5 – Ruth Taaffe

Congratulations to Ruth whose poem first featured way back in January and has been a favourite in the village throughout the year.


Past midnight. Paros, Greece. July
the sweetest month
to be alive, eighteen.
A dust-quiet street, a breather
from the dancing night

when a wavering man with white hair
came by us two
sitting as we were
on a bakery step closed
in between loaves and fishing
secretly for compliments
or catches with each other

he turned
unfocused to us
closer than breath
and said

“If you bottled what you have
between you now
and sold it as perfume
you’d make a fortune.”

I still remember your eyes
your name. Brown hands huge
slender, holding mine.
I keep this night bottled
and breathe it in from time to time.

Ruth Taaffe is from Manchester, UK and currently lives in Singapore where she is the Head of English at an International School. Ruth is an MA student of Creative Writing with Lancaster University and some of her poems have been published in the online journal Creative Writing Ink as well as in print in Acumen.

1 thought on “Number 5 – Ruth Taaffe”

  1. Oh my. Sigh. I have memories like that. But in so few words you have beautifully yet simply ‘bottled’ the essence of a particular spot in time, a particular feeling, an image, a memory, a place – just lovely.


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