Stephanie Conn

2 Poems

Stephanie Conn

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Dutch Bridges

There is a grey payphone attached to the wall.

When it rings I sometimes forget

and think it might be you.

I would tell you of the simple things –

how I leave the house, too full of students,

and walk the city’s streets. 

How the street stretches across the canal to the market stalls,

how the vendors call and hold up fruit or turn

to the child crying on the bridge. How I buy flowers.

How I pass the old clock and the chocolate shop, 

where the windows will soon be stocked   

with yellow bonnets and chicks.

How they serve tea in tall glasses, without milk,

how in spring they’ll set out wicker chairs

for people to sip their drinks and smoke cigarettes.

How, back inside I’ll cut the tulips’ stems

and place them gently in the vase I bought last week –

blue delft, like the plate you inscribed with my birth date.


To see a stationary wave of sandstone blocks

cascade towards the Harbour Bridge

seems less strange than a black cross woven into rock

on a monolith built from pebbles of threaded quartz.

They say, at night you can hear the wings of bats flap

as they leave their box, hidden inside the stagnant sea,

and that the cross glows violently in the moonlight,

when they settle in the roped-off Wollemi Pine.

Stephanie Conn

A former teacher and graduate of the MA programme at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Stephanie won the Yeovil Poetry Prize, Funeral Service NI prize, the inaugural Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing. Her first collection, ‘The Woman on the Other Side’ is published by Doire Press and was shortlisted for the Shine/Strong Award for best first collection. Her pamphlet ‘Copeland’s Daughter’ won the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition and is published by Smith/Doorstep. Her next collection is due out in 2018. Find out more at