His Shoes Are On The Landing By Martha O’Brien

His Shoes Are On The Landing

I never thought it would be hard to see the smoke again.
That machinery loud and terrifying;
I never thought I’d feel a thing.
When we used to drive past in the car, Dad would say
and we’d look at his office that was no office at all
more like this tower, brutal and harsh
but Dad, soft as butter, he’d say,
‘It’s fantastic’.
I didn’t believe him.
‘What’s worse than that heat and noise?’
He’d say
‘I’m in there at 7am
molten steel-sweat running off my nose.’
I’d think
‘Sounds like hell’
but never like a death sentence.
Never really worried about someone larger than life.
‘Yeah that’s my Dad
with his heavy boots and high pitched sweat
he’s got towels from that factory
jumpers from the steelworks
he’s got polo shirts from the bakery;
photos of machines on his phone.’
It was a part of him. He was a part of me.

No one’s moved his shoes in five months.
He’s not coming to wear them.
No one’s moving his shoes.

By Martha O’Brien


Martha O’Brien is 17 years old and lives in Wales. She writes and sings and wastes time. She posts her poetry on marthalobrien.tumblr.com and her covers on soundcloud.com/martha-obrien-1. Mostly, she hates talking about herself in third person and finds it easier to say what she means in her poems.

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