Alex Josephy – Cradles


Wakeful in a carry-cot, decked with flowered cotton.
Promenaded in a pram, the hood rounded
like a heavenly sphere.

Quiet in the bows of a stranger’s boat.

Abandoned in a carpet bag, stashed in a toolbag,
rolled in chamois leather. Snuggled in a drawer
pulled from the bedroom chest.

Crying in a rubber dinghy far from land.

Wide-eyed in a glove compartment, lined
with nylon stockings. Hidden in a shoebox,
rustling among tissues.

Declared lost at sea in a boat full of holes.

Swaddled, hung alongside others from a hook
on the wall. Tucked inside a wicker basket
down among the rushes.

Pulled alive from winter waves, bound tight
to the muscles of her back.

Pressed against her bodice, flowered cotton.
Fast asleep beside her in a shack
built of cardboard.

Held to her breast.


Alex lives in London and Italy. Her poetry pamphlet Other Blackbirds was published by Cinnamon Press in March 2016. Her poems have also appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies, and have won awards including the McLellan prize 2014 and the Battered Moons prize 2013. During May/June 2016, she was Poet in Residence at Rainham Hall gardens, Essex.

You can find out more about Alex’s work and read her poetry blog, The Latest, at