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Ruby Robinson

She found her mother’s voice behind the sofa,
in pieces, a layer between a cup and saucer,
a trace of it in the dressing-up drawer, a sliver

between sheets of music in a box beneath
the Blüthner. She gathered it up and handed it around,
despite hugeness of cushions and swathes of rug.

Despite very tall men and women peering down,
she shared this small voice. She found echoes of it
in the resolute voices of the tall men and women,

in Radio 4 broadcasts, on tabloid front pages,
in the gleam in a celebrity’s eyes, in her aunts
and uncles, in the death of a violinist, in psalms.

With it she found tiny hairs from her arms and legs
dropped off, found a brain wilted in its skull, her skin
unstuck, like petal flesh lost to a sudden hoar frost.


‘Truth’ was published by Liverpool University Press in February 2016 as part of Ruby Robinson’s debut collection, Every Little SoundShe has just been shortlisted for the 2016 Felix Dennis Prize for First Collection.

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