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Best Famous Jackie Kay Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Jackie Kay poems. This is a select list of the best famous Jackie Kay poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Jackie Kay poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Jackie Kay poems.

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by Jackie Kay | |

That Distance Apart

 I am only nineteen
My whole life is changing

Tonight I see her
Shuttered eyes in my dreams

I cannot pretend she's never been
My stitches pull and threaten to snap

My own body a witness
Leaking blood to sheets milk to shirts

My stretch marks
Record that birth

Though I feel like somebody is dying

I stand up in my bed
And wail like a banshee

On the second night
I shall suffocate her with a feather pillow

Bury her under a weeping willow
Or take her far out to sea

And watch her tiny six pound body
Sink to shells and re shape herself

So much better than her body
Encased in glass like a museum piece

Or I shall stab myself
Cut my wrists steal some sleeping pills

Better than this-mummified
Preserved as a warning

On the third night I toss
I did not go through those months

For you to die on me now
On the third night I lie

Willing life into her
Breathing air all the way down through the corridor

To the glass cot
I push my nipples through

Feel the ferocity of her lips

Landed in a place I recognize

My eyes in the mirror
Hard marbles glinting

Murderous light
My breasts sag my stomach

Still soft as a baby's
My voice deep and old as ammonite

I am a stranger visiting
Myself occasionally

An empty ruinous house
Cobwebs dust and broken stairs

Inside woodworm
Outside the weeds grow tall

As she must be now

She, my little foreigner
No longer familiar with my womb

Kicking her language of living
Somewhere past stalking her first words

She is six years old today
I am twenty-five; we are only

That distance apart yet
Time has fossilised

Prehistoric time is easier
I can imagine dinosaurs

More vivid than my daughter
Dinosaurs do not hurt my eyes

Nor make me old so terribly old
We are land sliced and torn.

by Jackie Kay | |

Baby Lazarus

 When I got home
I went out into the garden
Liking it when the frost bit
My old brown boots
And dug a hole the size of a baby
And buried the clothes
I'd bought anyway, just in case.
A week later I stood at my window And saw the ground move And swell the promise of a crop; That's when she started crying.
I gave her a service then Sang Ye Banks And Braes Planted a bush of roses Read from the Bible, the book of Job Cursed myself digging a pit for my baby Sprinkling ash from the grate.
Late that same night She came in by the window My baby Lazarus And suckled at my breast.

by Jackie Kay | |


 I always looked out at the world,
And wondered if the world looked back at me,
Standing on the edge of something,
On my face- the wind from the cold sea.
Across the waters were mirrors to see Faces that looked like me, People caught between two places, People crossing over the seas.
And it seemed from my croft -With the old stones and the sheep, And the sound of the songs in my sleep- That the music of folk somewhere meets On the edge of the place we would be.
I’ve lived through some hard times.
My face is lined; my body so frail.
I used to think I might be able – When the river ran to meet the sea, When the sun and moon shared the sky- To look out as far as the eye could see, And raise a glass to the girl looking back at me.

More great poems below...

by Jackie Kay | |

Late Love

 How they strut about, people in love,
How tall they grow, pleased with themselves,
Their hair, glossy, their skin shining.
They don't remember who they have been.
How filmic they are just for this time.
How important they've become - secret, above The order of things, the dreary mundane.
Every church bell ringing, a fresh sign.
How dull the lot that are not in love.
Their clothes shabby, their skin lustreless; How clueless they are, hair a mess; how they trudge Up and down the streets in the rain, remembering one kiss in a dark alley, A touch in a changing room, if lucky, a lovely wait For the phone to ring, maybe, baby.
The past with its rush of velvet, its secret hush Already miles away, dimming now, in the late day.