ONE POEM – Olivia Heggarty

Spring Clean

Time to watch the strange sort of 
debate between winter and spring, 
when the ladies argue over whether to 
sun the grass

or bring a storm down 
and I hold the monthly vote between 
growing out my hair or bringing out the
meat scissors,

to move back home or put up with
the panic a little longer,
cooking the vegan steak to look
red, to look bloody, like the real thing

or to cook it so it feels like plants.
Cutting my hair with the meat scissors,
being told off for not using a hairdresser,
explaining that if I don’t change something

often I will do something worse
but lying because I just get bored.
My heart is not some dark thing.
The meat scissors are just a poetic

device. Selling my jeans, buying
floral ones instead, my body does not
grow. I just get bored. It is too cold
to experiment getting comfortable

with my body, it is not cold enough
to practise being a hermit. I started
to smoke but only socially; addiction
runs in my family

but I only do it because transition
is exciting and I look older with a
cigarette hanging out of my mouth.
Watching the strange sort of debate

between nineteen and twenty, where
now I am at a non-age and February
is in a non-season, but when July
blossoms I will pick up the meat scissors

and cut up the floral jeans so they turn
into shorts and I will look stupidly small
in the bagginess. My body does not 
grow, it lives within transition.





Olivia Heggarty is trying to be a poet in Belfast, Ireland. Her work can be found in Horizon Magazine, Dublin Poetry Magazine, Catatonic Daughters and forthcoming in Abridged. Olivia was the UniSlam first runner-up in 2022.

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