Skip to main content

21ST-CENTURY POETRY The Chair by Claire Booker

Something wired about her face
makes me stop scrolling down. I’m sucked
into those eyes, the dark shine of her skin;
the expression I can’t quite place.

She seems unsettled in her blue gown,
and the cap clamping her head. It’s the end
of lockdown and hairdressers have been busy
since midnight. I wonder what treatment this is.

The image is electric, bursting out of itself.
Chubby white fingers, just in shot, apply a kind
of gel to her temple. The chair, socially distanced,
is too solid, somehow excessive.

Then I notice her wrists, her ankles, the straps.
She’s snatching at final moments.

African-American prisoners are disproportionately represented on death row. The US Supreme Court does not acknowledge statistical bias as a reason to overturn an individual’s sentence. Claire Booker lives in Brighton. Her pamphlet The Bone That Sang is due out from Indigo Dreams. 21st-century Poetry is edited by Andy Croft, email info@smokestack-books.co.uk

 

OWNED BY OUR READERS

We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 10,322
We need:£ 7,678
8 Days remaining
Donate today