Chickenpox

Summer was the worst time to be sick, tucked up tight in bed, restrained by grandmother’s hospital corners, bullied by the clock’s resonant tick. The room was stifling, even the sticky Lucozade was too warm to fizz, and the fly too drowsy to buzz and batter against the window. Outside, neighbourhood children played, lawnmowers droned […]

at the water’s edge

a boy crouched at the water’s edge his fingers felt the waves the pull of the current tangle of chickweed wash of passing swan tickle of trout inhaling scents of far-off places breathing them out he watched his toy boat skip ripples on the breeze blow under willows where ducks gather water voles bask in […]

Twisted around her wrist…

a bracelet of cowslips and oxeyes, meadow flowers of summers long gone. Her refusal to add pimpernels, rubies among silver and gold, surprised me. But she was drawn with childish glee to sunny dandelions and buttercups that cast a buttery glow under her chin. So many seasons of bracelets twist around the couplet of our […]

Start the Week Day

I loved childhood Mondays, those start-the-week days, back-to-school days of stories, songs and poetry. They smelled of pencils, paint and ink, clean uniforms, faded dinner stink, disinfectant and freshly waxed floors. We sat in rows, our desks clear, blackboard clean, blank slates waiting for the teacher to write the date. Kim M. Russell, 4th February […]

Cinnamon (for Adelheid)

Different café, another time, a seat by a steamy window, hot chocolate with cinnamon, and I’m sitting opposite her, the last time we met, before I left and we never saw each other again. I was naïve, excited, eager to explore, and she was so much older, teacher and mentor. She encouraged me to fly, […]

Washday

I remember the massive washing pot sizzling on the stove, steaming soap and shiny bubbles, the dolly, the washboard in the sink. Barely room for two in her tiny scullery, I gripped her apron tightly, behind the comfortable safety of her body, away from the flames flickering from washday spits. Afterwards, on the carmine step, […]