Michael McGill (5 Poems)

Underfoot Poetry


A woman in a documentary
is frozen in my mind. She stands
behind an asylum window

and whispers in a foreign language.
The subtitle below her
reads, “Please let me out of here.”

She is framed by the subtitle;
framed by the edit
of her portrayal.

Finally, she is framed
by the asylum itself.
“Please let me out of here,” she says.


On that last day at my Grandmother’s
house, after we had taken down
her paintings and placed all of her
possessions into boxes, I opened
a door in the hall. I had always

thought this was a small cupboard.
But it wasn’t. Instead, the door
revealed a tiny spiral flight
of stairs. And it was up
these stairs that I climbed.

The spiral staircase led to a loft,
and in the corner of the room was
a photograph of my Grandmother
as a young…

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