Maddy Barnes reflects on a year of constant change, and lessons both taught and learned in our final Friday Poem of the theme.

by Maddy Barnes


The comfort of impermanence is a weakly tied ribbon.
Satin strands that will fall into hands, slip through fingers with glances and twitches, a dance into dusk to see feet on cool cobbles.
The anxious nature of withered knees.

With a year of constant change,
The ribbons I tied lost in dark skies, bittersweet pints and untactful lies–
The ceaseless fascination with ever changing eyes and always the readiness to easily cry.

I, don’t know how to do this.

For, my running feet onto trains, trendy cafes, knows the inevitability of an out.
Commitment, a word jarring in your throat-
With all of the significance of a Friday Ad horoscope-
It’s the clifftop of the word ‘ok’.
It’s the rides below biting up at you telling you to say ‘no’,
It’s the sunset and the horizon telling you to ‘go’-
It’s teeth-grinding-finger-pinching-leg-clenching-motions
I guess
it’s everything I felt Last Year.
Only the chest board has turned,
White became black,
My fear not intact,
My granddad used to say;
‘Never threaten to leave, threaten to stay.’


My romantic friend impermanence might have to just wait.
I’ll keep my satin strands of ribbon, my passport all quite safe.
And face the writhing beast of our new nationalist, UK.

Maddy Barnes | Instagram @maddyb3rnes

Maddy is a 19-year-old writer, spoken-word poet and playwright, currently studying Scriptwriting and Performance at the University of East Anglia.