Post-weekend Poetry 013: ‘Like a shard of glass’ by Ruth Holroyd

Welcome to Post-weekend Poetry and the thirteenth poem in this series. This week’s piece welcomes back poet and short story author Ruth Holroyd.

Like a shard of glass

Walking along the busy street
Smiling at the blue sky above
Feeling the sun warming my skin
Free as bird, as a dove

I don’t see anything untoward
As I stroll through the autumn leaves
No pain, no feeling, no warning at all
of what hid up his hoody sleeves

I stop short and grab my side
A warm sensation spreading
I reach down, my hand finds
The deep cut threading

Straight through the green silk of my favourite dress
It finds its way quickly inside me
On through my camisole
then reaching soft skin, deep it went in

I look down and watch the slow
flower of crimson blooming
Only then I feel it, like a sharp blow
A bolt of lightening through me

Slowing sinking to my knees
The crowd elbowing past me
I reach out for you, striding off
Strolling into the moving sea

I don’t feel my knees as they hit the ground
My life seeping quickly out
I gasp out breath but make no sound
One last desperate look, a silent shout

The cold concrete soothes my cheek
Tiny sharp stones press hard
My lips move but I can’t speak
I see my future crack like a shard

Of glass, the glass that sticks in my side
And there you are, your face up close
Fading, distant, eyes wide, shaking
Snaking off like the man with the shard….

Thank you, Ruth, hauntingly sad…

Ruth works as a freelance copywriter and marketing communications professional in Buckinghamshire.  She writes company case studies and copy edits brochures and websites.  She also writes regular articles and features about living with allergies and food intolerances. Her allergy blog,, was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs in the UK in 2011 and she is one of the guest judges at the Free From Food Awards 2012.  You can read some more of her writing here.

If you’d like to submit your poem (40 lines max) for consideration for Post-weekend Poetry take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with sports-influenced author Rob Sheehy – the three hundred and fourteenth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Bookstore and Kobo. And I have a new forum at

4 thoughts on “Post-weekend Poetry 013: ‘Like a shard of glass’ by Ruth Holroyd

  1. Ruth Holroyd says:

    Hey Morgen, I entered this one into a competition at Chiltern Writers and it got commended! Am so proud. My first ever prize or official recognition for my writing. However, I didn’t really understand the poet who judged its comments on this poem I wrote. Can you recommend a good poetry course for beginners?


    • morgenbailey says:

      Yay! Congratulations. I’ve never been on a poetry course because I don’t write (much) / read poetry but I know the Open University do home-based courses with tutors to assess your work via email. Overall it’s not cheap but I’m pretty sure you can do the course at your pace(ish). Another remote is writer’s bureau ( You could always Google a (living!) poet you like and see if they’re running courses. And there’s always poetry advice in the writing magazines – Alison Chisholm being one of the main contributors.


  2. Ruth Holroyd says:

    Great idea Morgen. When I’ve finished the copywriting course I’m doing this is my next project. Poetry writing course. Yay indeed. Will let you know if I find any really interesting options. Thought you might be interested to read the judges comments too, since some of your readers may also like to comment. This is what he said:

    “Although bravely including in the title – and within the poem, one of the poetry world’s famously verboten words, this piece grips by its tension seemingly an apparently motiveless ‘en passant’ stabbing with ‘a shard of glass’. I very much enjoyed the sustained tension of the poem and its essential central mystery. It could be improved I think with punctuation.”

    This comment is word for word what he put and I don’t really understand all of what he said, but boy do I want to punctuate it, esp. after his comment about punctuation of my poem! However very positive comments – if a little cryptic. Is the word ‘like’ famously verboten?


  3. morgenbailey says:

    Hi. Yes, I would have said it’s the ‘like’ that’s verboten (interesting he uses a German word – I guess it’s a poetic term (for forbidden)). It’s great feedback and the critique is constructive, as it should be. Having the word ‘grips’ and ‘very much enjoyed’ are always good. Well done.


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