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Poems: ‘Course of Action’ and ‘Step up’

By: Ali Grimshaw

Course of Action

In the next week of tomorrows
three months planned process
third Wednesday penned.

Your proposal for this day
the one you think is coming
neatly folded, in its unopened box.

Morning coffee in hand when
the unimaginable drops.

Limbs of wildness
landing with a thud
shudder shocking
and squawking
to track mud all over
your carefully crafted calendar.

Chewing on the corners
ink bleeding red to almost black
until Tuesday is unreadable.
Saturday obliterated, Sunday’s sogginess
with numbers floating to the top.

All days tilt, with gnawing
sides no longer at right angles.

And you haven’t even left the kitchen.


Step up

born part way up the ladder
hands caught me as I entered this world

my full weight held by solid rungs of others
that came before, their dedication to repeatedly rise

their metal bonded by days of doubting sweat, steely strength
hours and hours as the clock watched the work

rungs melded by calloused hands thick with intention
to carry their children into tomorrow, make the next step

I have my doubts to deliver to the ladder’s stretch
return what was given by my homeland birth

a time and place that gave me the privilege
of fair skin.

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