Agape in New York by Gerard Rochford

Agape in New York by Gerard Rochford

Today, we will enjoy the fantastic poem Agape in New York by Gerard Rochford, a great and beautiful work, as short as deep, as deep as sincere.

We would like to remember to all YM reader that we have a submissions page where you can read the guidelines. This Wednesday continues. See you soon!


Agape in New York*

 by Gerard Rochford

On a snowman’s belly,

seen before only in books,

Slindile draws a map of the world:


Here’s New York and Africa is there,

where everyone is dying – fathers, mothers,

brothers, sisters,  friends.


Her brown eyes are lost

in the past of her mother’s smile.

Weeks ago in her home,

Slindile washed and combed her hair

for the visit of a pop-star she’s shyly in love with;

then travelled with her choir to New York,

sang to the gold and diamond gliterazzi,

starred for a night with an American legend,

then flew back to the darkness, singing still.

I live in a home for beautiful children,

her face shines,

children with no parents.

Now she is sad.

I want to be a nurse.

Again she shines.


* We Are Together (Thina Simunye) is a documentary about the South African orphanage  “Agape”. Children who live there lost their parents to AIDS. The children formed a choir. They visited New York in winter to raise money. Paul Simon sang unobtrusively with them.


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Gerard Rochford was born in England, lived in Hong Kong, but has spent most of his life in Scotland His recent collections include: Figures of Stone. Koo Press. Aberdeen. 2009. Failing Light, a handcrafted limited edition from www.embershandpress.co.uk. 2010. Of Love and Water, a limited edition, Koo Press/Malfranteaux Concepts. Aberdeen. 2011. A collaboration with David Ladmore an artist from Victoria, B.C. Canada. Anthologies include: Erotica. Ascent Aspirations.Canada. 2008 and Silver. Polygon. U.K. 2009. His poem My Father's Hand was included in Best 20 Scottish Poems of 2006 for the Scottish Poetry Library, selected by Janice Galloway. He is the Makar (Laureate) for www.scottishreview.net to which he contributes a poem every month.

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