What to bring to my grave

(after Dani Woolley)


Those Nutella doughnuts we had in Italy 

that halcyon summer as newlyweds 

the scent of my babies when they were first born 

a comfy chair so your back doesn’t ache while you spend time by my side 

two beers: a toast to us, a lifetime of love (it’s ok if you drink both) 

a story from your childhood (I didn’t have time to hear them all)  

that green suit that does it for me 

your belly laugh (the one that makes you cry) 

news of my siblings 

a sea breeze 

the story of when we first confessed our love 

the book I read over and over 

a poem I wrote for you, paper folded and crinkled from years in your pocket 

open arms because I still see your heart –

don’t close up.


Ellen Clayton is from Suffolk, England where she lives with her husband and three young children. She’s recently been published in Delicate Friend, Corporeal and Honeyfire, amongst others. She has poems forthcoming in various publications including Nightingale and Sparrow, Gutslut Press and Cauldron Anthology. Her poetry can be found on Instagram @ellen_writes_poems and she’s on Twitter @el_clayton.