Gravedigger, Lesbos, by Jean Atkin

heard speaking on Radio 4

I collect the bodies
from the hospital
& prepare them

I wash them
& wrap them
then I place them
in the grave

I lay them so
they are facing

I lay wood
on top of them

I would use stones
but I have run out
of stones


Jean Atkin has published ‘Not Lost Since Last Time’ (Oversteps Books), five poetry pamphlets and a children’s novel.   Her poetry has been commissioned for Radio 4, and featured on ‘Best Scottish Poets’ by the Scottish Poetry Library.  Her recent work appears in The Interpreter’s House, Magma, Lighthouse, Agenda, Ambit and Poetry Salzburg.  She works as a poet in education and community.