How to let it go

Pick it up.
Feel the weight
of it in your hands.
Pinch, roll,
flatten, slap
it like fresh clay.

Own the reactions
of your body.
Pinpoint the lump
in your throat,
the knot
in the lowest part
of your abdomen.

Coax the howl
up from your soul
like a wet dog. Sit
with it a while,
your legs dangling
over the edge
of the heart’s bed.

Welcome the ache,
the hollow,
the numb
like distant relatives.
Let them shoehorn
their leaking boots
into your ribcage.

Open the gift
you can already make out
through the thin tissue.
Allow them to fill
your floating body
with the thing they think
was taken from you.



Natalie Rees lives in West Yorkshire where she works as a Play & Creative Arts Therapist. She has been a prize winner in the Flambard (2017) and Penfro (2018) poetry competitions and has had poems published with The Interpreter’s House and Prole.