Old Friends

Searching through my mountain of memory sticks, looking for a set of photos I took last summer for a poetry booklet but seem to have deleted, I’ve come across several pieces I’ve written over the years and then forgotten.  Digital copies of annual Christmas letters, story outlines, opening paragraphs, over-heard conversations that were too good to go to waste, full stories in a few cases and even the odd bit of poetry.  I say odd – all the work was written pre the MA course and reading through them, I’ve spotted heaps of things that are weak with each one.  But heaps of things that are good, too, not least the fact that there is so much of it.  To think that all this time I’ve told myself that I’m not a writer and that I never have time to write.

Some of the writing is pure emotion, written to get anger or pain or heartbreak out of my head to stop it poisoning me, and as such, I wouldn’t want to share it.  But here’s a poem that I’ll allow to see the light of day.  I’ve brushed its hair a bit and re-tied its shoelaces, giving it a final tickle of ‘you’ll do’ under the chin, but I would ask you to look kindly on it as it being a very young child.



In the shower I cannot hear

children playing,

shouting, screeching,

bouncing on beds,

climbing in cupboards,

running in bedrooms and scrapping

and screaming.


Torrents of water hide

rumblings of anger,

the snapping of temper,

of paper-thin tolerance,

the crack of the whip

of paternity tested.


In here, I hide.

I wash.  I turn and swill.

Suds and tranquillity sluice

down the plughole,

delaying the time to re-clothe

and resurface.


The shower clears its throat.

Steam shifts, hair-curtains part.

Myopia fades and noises invade

and I hear



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