The Relevance of Evenings

The Relevance of Evenings
by Ilse Pedler

Evenings can appear suddenly when you least expect them. You may be reading the paper or thinking about making the tea when you look up to find that they are there. Evenings don’t understand the importance of clocks and don’t always realise they can be unwelcome. Birds can be caught out by evenings; they may take a wrong turn and end up in other countries. Some birds are happy with this but not the ones that mate for life – like swans. Swans make me happy; other things that make me happy are brown toes in sandals and big men dancing, also the armchair in the kitchen that you bought and reupholstered and that I always sit in. Some things seem less relevant by the evening, like sulking after arguments or the grey hairs in your beard. On the other hand, you may reach an evening and realise you have mislaid what is most relevant. You once told me we can grow up to a centimetre in height as we sleep – in the morning, when we’re in bed, I reach out to make sure that you are still taller than me.


This poem received an honourable mention in our 2023 Prose Poetry Competition.

Ilse Pedler is the winner of the 2015 Mslexia Pamphlet Competition. Her pamphlet, The Dogs That Chase Bicycle Wheels was published by Seren in March 2016. Her first collection Auscultation was published by Seren in 2021. She is the poet in residence at Sidmouth Folk Festival . She lives and works part time as a Veterinary Surgeon in Kendal (UK).


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