Still Life – Holly Milne

I felt you hanging me on your wall

Still Life

I closed my eyes
And I felt myself drifting
lazily downward, 
the product of bottom-shelf vodka.

Your beard scratched at my face
hands smoothing my hair. 
‘you look like a painting’

I tried to focus
staring at the outdated wallpaper.
I imagined peeling it back,
exposing the rough wall underneath.

I dreamt of being trapped
a girl sat behind glass.
Stuck in one attitude
smiling blandly out
my wide eyes staring at one spot.

I saw you gazing at me
your wedged nose
cracked lips
creased forehead
writing your rambling short stories
about spaghetti and talking dogs.

I felt you hanging me on your wall
talking to me about your day.
Coming home smelling of Jamesons, 
reading Ulysses while commenting on its ‘extensive lexicon’.

‘you look pretty when you sleep’
I smiled as sweetly as I could
listening to your stories about stoners called Jaffa.

The chemical taste of vodka
lingered in my tense little mouth.
My skin felt like canvas
I wanted to peel it away.

Holly Milne

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

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