Childhood in Monochrome

Loving grandparents were always there to house me, feed me, teach me, grandmother in charge of my care while my parents struggled daily. Now only a handful of monochrome photographs remain as tattered ghosts of the past, but my love of home, stories, poems and music still cast their light on the present. They are […]

Where It All Began

It seemed so much bigger then, red brick staunch against the weather,grey asphalt where we ran together,played kiss chase (you missed my lips and kissed my ear), made icy slides in winter.Those hungry waits in line outside the small canteen, air laden with indescribable smells, fingers crossed it was my turn to be water monitor […]

Transistor Radio

No crystal clarity of stereoor speaker power(to speak of)but my battery-powered transistor radioaccompanied methroughout dayswhen I was not at schooland undercover at night,where I’d tune into pirates of the airwaves,a patchouli-scented teenagerin a council flatimagining Woodstock or Monterey. Kim M. Russell, 22nd April 2021 Image by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash My response to NaPoWriMo Day […]

Plum Nelly

Late sun splashes in the summer sky,flashes in the tears every time I seeplump ripe plums hanging in our tree,like the juicy ones she used to buyin brown paper bags to share with me.Their purple musk evokes a sighof scents from grandmother’s scullery;laundry in a copper, hot and bubbly,sprigs of mint, roast on Sunday,cloves and […]


I used to hide behind fringes: the tablecloth fringe that dangledfrom grandmother’s dining table,the one I pulled until scaldingtea splashed on my legs; the grass and weeds on the fringeof the field near the railway bridge,the green-shadowed placewhere I buried my pet hamster; the fringe of hair over my eyes,my mother’s scissor-straight line,the blonde fringe […]

Nell’s Legacy

Rain spits at the closed windowdripping with condensationand I’m listening a play on the radio,following in Nell’s footsteps. The iron steams. Clothes, rescuedfrom the line when the first cloudcracked, are scented with raindrops,creased and pleading to be smooth. Pressing fabric between iron and board,I breathe in warm memories, slipdown the years into a laundry-scented embrace,catch […]

Grandmother’s Radio

Before I left herfor another lifewith parents and sisters,pop music and Radio Luxembourg,she gave me‘Listen with Mother’ storiesand old songs from the music hall. When I returned, feeling unwanted,she ironed while I twiddled the dial,found midday comedies and quizzes,and afternoon playsfor when it rained. I still listen while I iron,smoothing out life’s creases. Kim M. […]