Finishing Touch

God chars the edges of the day,
the sky turns the colour of the sediment
at the bottom of a bottle of cheap orange squash.

I imagine it like tea-staining paper
to make replicas of old treasure maps as a kid.
I remember burning the ripped borders by hand.

These are the acts of finishing.
Resurfacing the patina of a day and I realise
that someone, somewhere,

just had the best damn day of their life.
My day feels more like spilled tea leaves
spelling out a warning. A calamity of near misses,

but looking at the sky I think, today’s just not my turn
to have God proudly showing off a day he made for me.
Today is a blank sheet of unembellished paper

and I’ve been left to my own devices to decorate it as I see fit.
Whilst someone else sees the sky blaze into a banner
that says β€˜yes,
thank you for waiting,
this is all for you’



Kathryn O’Driscoll is the current UK slam champion, a poet and activist from Bath. She talks openly about disabilities, mental health, LGBTQIA+ issues, and surviving sexual abuse in her poems.