Pay Day NaPoWriMO

Black eye

Pay Day

In the bed
in the locked room
he calls spare – she calls safe

she trembles as his feet
thump up the stairs
breathes deeply

prays he’ll give up
knows he won’t.

she unlocks the door
goes down and tries
Is that you? I was asleep.

Fucking bitch, he screams,
Lying cow! His fist connects.
Her face cools

on York stone flags.
Granma’s dinner plates
fly around the room.

Later, collecting porcelain pieces,
she knows

he won’t remember. She wakes
to the smell of frying bacon
the sound of his whistling.



Role Models NaPoWriMo

Morning Dew on Litter

Morning Dew on Litter (Photo credit: elycefeliz)


Role Models




My mother’s kitchen window overlooked

my father’s shed which made it rather hard

for each to treat the other as not there.

She’d slam pans on cupboard tops

he’d reply by banging nails;

conversations lasting hours.


When his lunch was on the table,

she’d open the door to let him know,

then sit out on the step with an ashtray

and twenty menthol cigarettes.

Thursday nights, she painted on her smile,

went out to meet the girls from work.


He’d venture indoors and stare around

like a tourist in a foreign land.

Precisely fifteen minutes before her return

he’d go back to his shed, sit in the dark,

waiting until her light went out.


To pass the time,

he gouged lumps

out of a piece of pine.




NaWriPoMO HalfTerm

NaWriPoMO  HalfTerm

Half Term

Behind our house
there is a swing over the river
A lath of wood on plaited string
above the gloomy green
in which we plunged.

We’d stand together and push
in looping arcs
until the moment came to launch
ourselves in space,
hand in hand, knowing

that soon, we’d be gasping,
bursting through the blackness,
giggling, shiny-eyed,
mud streaked faces spittled.

That day
I surfaced, trod water,
waited for you.
Trod water
until my cries frightened

nesting birds from trees,
brought parents running.
Staring at the empty swing
moving gently
like the tug and pull of the tide.

%d bloggers like this: