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written by: Marc Brightside



I was checking the obituaries to make sure
I hadn’t died, when I came across her name:
an unexpected overdose, third time’s the charm,
found rotting in her Menzieshill apartment.
Cousin Ceri was a butch old dyke, coddled
on the weekends, beaten when it mattered,
with a prison record longer than her lifespan.
She was a hospital stay waiting to happen.
“Dealers killed my daughter,” Gail slurred,
a sleeping bulldog dolled-up in her finest,
glittering and wistful for the local cameras.
“Ceri was wonderful. She was perfect.”
Shame your DIY abortion failed, Gail,
then you might not have abandoned her.
My cousin was a cocaine hurricane,
a firework lit sparking from both ends,
but someone had to hold the match.
I was prepared to let it go, until I scrolled
below her article. Eleven, three, fourteen.
Cousin Ceri died almost two years ago.



This poem is taken from my debut collection, 'Keep it in the Family'.

Marc Brightside

Marc Brightside

I am an author of poetry and realist fiction for adults, currently based in London, England. I first discovered poetry under the tuition of Julian Stannard and since graduating I have conducted poetry workshops, worked as an editor for poetry and non-fiction, had my work published in various outlets across the UK and placed top ten in 2016's National Poetry Competition, held by The Poetry Society. My debut poetry collection, ‘Keep it in the Family’, will be available via Dempsey & Windle from October 2017 onwards.
Marc Brightside

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