Introducing the June 2009 Poets – 4. Allan Crosbie

Allan Crosbie lives in Edinburgh and teaches English in James Gillespie’s High School. His first collection, Outswimming the Eruption, was published by The Rialto in 2006 and it was short-listed for the Aldeburgh Jerwood Prize for best first collection. He has been runner-up in the Arvon Competition and short-listed for the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem. He is going to be a dad for the first time in September.

Below, from Allan, is a previously unpublished poem:

Anniversary

I hear the splash, the ripples, the slush of the overspill.
I hear the night come in the trees’ voices,
toast it silently with a sip of my margarita.
The board shudders its last breath and I scan
to where you flail like a bath-toy, oblivious
to everything until you surface with a gasp
that wets the empty glass in my hand where my lips’
red ghost has broken the brittle strip of salt.

When I think of drowning you, it’s not the image
of your frail arms slapping out that scares me,
but the future: Sunday afternoons with your brothers
round the barbecue, their grandchildren shrieking
in the pool which I won’t go near, and me
watching the coals grow grey beneath the meat.

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