‘Silk Cut,’ A Poem by Nick Laird

From His Collection Feel Free

July 9, 2019  By Nick Laird

I was five and stood beside my dad
at a junction somewhere in Dublin
when I slipped my hand in his
and met the red end of a cigarette

but now our hearts are broken
we walk down to the Braeside
where we can get a proper pint
and his voice tears up a bit

about the emptiness in the house
and we are going home, waiting
at the turn for the traffic, when I find
I have to stop my hand from taking his


“Silk Cut” reprinted from Feel Free: Poems. Copyright © 2019 by Nick Laird. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

Nick Laird
Nick Laird
Nick Laird’s work has garnered multiple awards including the Eric Gregory Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and a Guggenheim fellowship. Feel Free was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. Laird is a writer-in-residence at NYU and Chair of Creative Writing (poetry) at Queen's University, Belfast. He lives in New York and Ireland.

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