Sharon Black


We cram into the neighbours’ box room
for the Christmas Special:
me and Trace, Kirsten, Alyson;
downstairs the adults fugging up the lounge.

They pass before us like game show prizes –
Gary Numan, Bowie, Duran Duran,
Blondie, Siouxsie Sioux –
all pouts and fringes, sequins, skintight leather

while Legs & Co. sync smiles and kicks
before a podium of cheering punters –
girls like us but shinier somehow –
how we envy them, picked from the dance floor

while we scoff KP crisps, mince pies,
Wagon Wheels and Opal Fruits,
passing round a Jackie annual, Rubik’s Cube,
Alyson wafting to and from the phone.

I can no longer do a Rubik’s Cube,
Bowie’s dead, Alyson too, the rest of us
a little scratched, still spinning,
still waiting for the Top Ten countdown,
still dreaming of being plucked from obscurity.

Sharon Black is from Glasgow and lives in a remote valley of the Cévennes mountains. She once spent a year in rural Japan. She won The Guernsey International Poetry Competition 2019 and The London Magazine Poetry Prizes 2019 and 2018. Her two collections are To Know Bedrock (Pindrop, 2011) and The Art of Egg (Two Ravens, 2015; Pindrop, 2019). A third is forthcoming and she is currently working on her fourth, about the Cévennes. Since 2016 she has been editor of Pindrop Press, a poetry publisher based between Scotland and France.