Poem of the Week: ‘When Carla Moved Out’ by Michael Pedersen

  24 Aug '21   |  Posted by: Birlinn

Michael Pedersen’s second poetry collection, Oyster (2017), is a salty scoop of delight that slips down in one mouthful. Bite down, though: its poems are linguistically exuberant, challenging, and all subjects from love and sex to travel and Scottishness. The collection is illustrated by Scott Hutchinson, who died in 2018. Michael calls the collection ‘a muckle monument to a friendship that flew’. In anticipation of his event ‘Good Grief!’ at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, here is a short poem that captures the fine-graiingrief of losing someone

Flamingo Slippers by Scott Hutchinson, from Oyster the poetry collection by Michael Pedersen
When Carla Moved Out

Michael Pedersen

Without you I have no butter,
no shampoo, no part of me
that you make happen, empty
shelves, cupboards bare, a soup
of snot for breakfast, a bowling
ball belly. I am glad you took
the silk pillowcase I bought you
from John Lewis. I am sad you left
flamingo slippers I ordered online
– I had to chuck them out.
Their feathers thinned, I grew
tired of sniffing them, my feet
were too bulky. When you moved
out I found another corner
of the room had got
too big for its boots, I stopped smelling
of rain and red playdough.

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