Wednesday 28 October 2020

Vic Pickup, "Lost & Found"

Vic Pickup
is a previous winner of the Café Writers and Cupid’s Arrow Competitions, and she was shortlisted for the National Poetry Day #speakyourtruth prize on YouTube last year. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies, magazines and online, recently published by Mslexia, Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Poetry Village and Reach Poetry. Lost & Found is Vic’s debut pamphlet, published by Hedgehog Poetry Press. She tweets @vicpickup and her website is

About Lost & Found

The lockdown of 2020 has presented, for many, a time to think - to consider the good, the bad, the haves and the have-nots, what’s lost and what’s been found. This short collection observes individual losses and gains through a lens, seeing what’s going, gone, and what unexpected treasures emerge as we walk this untrodden path. In a world of chaos, these poems help us reconnect over common ground, through the shared experiences brought about in these unreal times.  

Below, you can read two poems from the collection. 

‘Beyond the Love of Women’ 

Harry Billinge MBE

You’re stuck there cold in a hole 
with bullets popping like corn in your head,
taking down brothers in sheets

and then, flung, sack heavy, 
a boy across your lap,
red berries leaking hot 
and sticky on your arms and fingers 

and he looks at you, not with anguish or fear
but bewilderment; 

as he tightens the hold, 
the whites of his eyes turn to porcelain.
And all you can feel, slumped and wet 
as the greying sludge curdles beneath you, is love. 
And the crushing loss of it. 

Lost and Found

You got up by yourself this morning,
put on your own knickers,
said you fancied eggs and bacon.

You went outside – first time in two years,
to breathe the dawn air and
survey the world since you left it.

In a few days, you remembered 
your name, the dog’s, who I was,
that the postman wasn’t your Dad.

You exchanged pleasantries
with the woman next door, no longer 
suspecting her of plotting your murder. 

The hairdresser turned your flat feathers 
into a helmet of curls in the mirror
igniting a glimmer of recognition.

We chucked the grab rails and Complan
drove the zimmer to the tip, turned 
your pill box into earring storage.

Weeks went by, you took the car out,
joined the library, had a stab at calligraphy,
tried your first chai latte. 

Then on Sunday we came home and there 
you were on hands and knees under the table, 
looking for something; you didn’t know what. 

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