A Poem by Laura McKee


((how things work))

I remember you explaining
about centrifugal force
when we saw Elvis on his motorbike
going round and round The Wall of Death
in Roustabout
his quiff still intact.

You asked me if I understood
and I said, “Oh yeah,
but I don’t really believe in it”.
Which made you laugh
and we were always each other’s
best comedy audience.

Near the end you broke your pelvis
and when you were no longer at home to gravity
I leant back against the wall
and felt the ground disappear
trying to believe in something invisible
holding me tight.

((how things work)) was first published in Aireings, Winter, 2009


Laura McKee lives in Kent. She first started writing poems in 2009, inside her head, while pushing her fourth child in the pushchair, to and from playgroup. Aireings magazine was the first to publish her work, including this poem about her father who she had recently lost. Her poems have since appeared in Under the Radar, Butcher’s Dog, The Rialto, and anthologies including Mildly Erotic Verse (Emma Press). She was a winner of the Guernsey International Poetry Competition.

In the photograph: Laura’s Dad, Robert James Leach, in the RAF, WW2


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