Ruth Elwood

Ruth Elwood is a Galway native and a second year student of creative writing at NUIG. Her poetry has been featured in the popular blog Poethead, The Rose online magazine and A New Ulster. Her work has also been featured internationally in NY literary magazine. She was also long listed for the Over the Edge new writer of the year poetry prize 2017.


Tick-tock pill pop

My world is not idyllic or beautiful.

It only features appointments and disappointments.

They say I should not desire death,

to remain living my “good” life.

Merely existence, passing through greeting figures

I do not check the clocks in the morning when I rise,

I know Mrs. What-do-you-call-her is my alar

. Her outbursts occur for as long as it takes me to go to the bathroom

. Then it is time.

The oval one


the all important oval one.

She says it’s for my hear

she laughs when Mrs. What do-you-call -her tells her

I have no heart at all.

I swallow.



her smile had faded slightly

. The chunky blue one.

. Never accompanied by enough water

one day will I choke on it.

. But for now I swallow.


The smile is nearly vanished

it’s time for the little red one

. She waits for me to finish and says her own prayer.

Mrs. What-do-you-call- her pretends she isn’t fond of here anymore

since someone stole her rosary beads.

I swallow.


, I’m in front of the box

,  my stories come on.

Mrs. What-do-you-call-her complains about how much bed hopping there is.

The smile is gone.

A pair of white spheres appears in my hand.

Like a pair of diamond earrings.

These mean it’s almost time for bed.

I swallow.



© 2018 Ruth Elwood