I IMAGINED A MOTHER ONCE

This poem was long-listed in the York Literary Festival Poetry Competition 2015

Lonely child

 

I imagined a mother once,

crafted from chalk dust

on coarse, black card.

 

She was smiling a red smile

beneath a yellow sun,

beside a blue house;

dust smudged over the windows and doors.

 

But unlike the others

with their faces so keen;

hands waving in the air

I was

not there.

 

And at a quarter past three

when the day grew dark,

large hands cradling small

they returned to their homes.

And I was left behind

clutching the coarse black card;

house, sun and mother

 

smeared on my thighs.

 

CITROEN VISA

citroen-visa

Citroen Visa

“Get in,” I said.

The tyres were bald, the roof was pink and

I was eighteen.

 

With no indicators

and the choke

hanging by her knees,

we wheel spun round Westover.

 

Through the mist of rubber

her white knuckled body

sunk low into her seat.

And with my elbow on the window –

Hey Mickey thumping in the air,

I knew

she was impressed.

 

But, on the next date,

she was in another man’s car.

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

Pluto

As he opened his eyes, the first thing that alarmed him was the scream. The second was that he could not breathe.

          Everywhere was red and the siren was wailing. He fell from his bunk, landing on his knees. There was no air. The sound was deafening. With his right elbow on the bunk, he tried to lever himself up, but the strain was too much and he collapsed again onto the metal deck. He grabbed his throat. His lungs jerked. But everywhere was red, and there was no air.

          He tried to speak, to shout out, but the siren was too loud. His muscles began to spasm. Consciousness was slipping. And through his blurred vision, drifting towards him in a sea of red, were four figures.

          Then there was darkness.

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