School of Politics and International Studies

Responsibility to Protect Student Journal

Leave the podium 

By Amy Ramswell

Amy Ramswell is a law student at the University of Leeds. She first started writing poems at the start of university, to escape the aesthetic numbness of legal writing. She tends to keep them to herself, but shared this one because she feels strongly about the subject matter.

Leave the podium 

Recently
It’s been so hot I can’t cope
Without diet cokes with lashings
Of ice and sun cream over skin
the colour of statues;
and just as pockmarked.

But today it poured,
Pelting the earth with something:
Soft as cake mix,
Hard as tears,
transparent as pig intestine over sausage meat.
I got caught
As the heavens tilted on their axis
And I prayed it would stop, leave us in peace

But the rivers suckled from the sky
And the grass we’d trampled sprang up from the dead.
Even the loudest lost their voice
Under the roar of a lion that had been chained for a very long time.

In a puddle i saw my reflection
Mopping at the cracks in the road,
And as I watched myself drown
Down the valley, seeping into the tarmac
and then the sediment below,

I realised it was about time
we purge the veins of this old town
& repack this stagnant soil,
So that the man at the bottom of the hill doesn’t have to fight the current to meet us.

when the sun comes out, we’re closest
Unless we dig down in to our hearts
And rearrange this country’s furniture.

*This poem is part of our Call for Conversations project which aims to broadcast diverse experiences through creative works. In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, we’re looking to open conversations about social issues affecting communities globally.

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