Paul Stephenson



For several summers of my childhood,
my mother took in Spanish students.


The chalice of bone
at the top of the sternum,

almost an egg-cup
in the shadow of his cleft chin.

How the clavicle became him,
there in the gap,

that font where his fine gold
chain and cross collected –

a vessel for christening,
my forefinger blessed.


He swung me round
like helicopter blades

so I could fly – horizontal
to his tall mast,

bare legs spinning
around his pivot,

my life in his hands
above our carpet of grass,

pale English boy
in his firm Spanish grasp.



2017-04-02 17.10.12

Paul Stephenson’s third pamphlet is Selfie with Waterlilies (Paper Swans Press, 2017). He co-curated Poetry in Aldeburgh in 2018 and interviews poets on his blog at He recently completed an MA in Creative Writing (Poetry) with the Manchester Writing School.