When Vulnerability Calls

When Vulnerability Calls

The sense of muffled footsteps, then a knock at the door,

gentle but persistent like spring rain,

pots simmering on the stove.

You don’t go,

though your job is thirsty work

and my parched throat, drained of liquid sound

that now trickles through my veins, adding weight

to limbs pinned fast to frozen ground.

Your palm turns the handle, the familiar twist

I check three times before nightfall

in case the ghosts visit,

whispering sweet nothings through the walls.

You all seem the same, at first charming,

lighting flames to torch the halls,

taming the spirits to trust the floor

like they could melt my muscles malleable,

like their words could make me move,

escape the labyrinth for the chance of absolutes

to find you stoking an imaginary fire,

breathing in the smoke of untruths.

Ten Years and Counting

Ten Years and Counting

It’s like you have always been there,

tucked away in an inside pocket

of the back of my mind,

a fidget item for these hands to find

when my head disconnects,

under anaesthetic from the neck down

though I’d have rather felt the burning sensation

from your quick disintegration,

the pain as you were wiped away.

Now a small dressing covers all that remains

of how you stuck to my skin.

Nurture wins the genetics debate

for I won’t miss your DNA,

my colours never ran in the family.

Planting Poems To Let The Light In

Planting Poems To Let The Light In

It’s a choice I will make a thousand times

every day afresh, the pull and push,

can I turn to the care

to the love that is staring back?

You are free to leave

find another pulse to crave your heartbeat

but I did not brave World War Three

for an amputation, aborting possibilities

from the spirit glowing inside of me.

Let me treat you to a lifetime

of the softest words, sprinkled over skin,

I will patiently saturate each layer,

wait here till every drop soaks in.

Home Educated

Home Educated

If my mother taught me anything

it was how the weak inherit the dirt

buried beneath the weight

of putting husbands first

and living through your children.

If my mother taught me anything

it was the chains of festering silence

tied to family secrets

the way you and my father screamed after dark

the way you feigned happiness in the morning.

If my mother taught me anything

it was to criticise my body

hate my own bones

till starving showed them through my skin

how you would be proud of me then.

If my mother taught me anything

it was the vicious birth

you called us sacrificial blood

threw money at the graves of those you slaughtered

expecting forgiveness and calling it love.

Memory Foam

Memory Foam

Uncertain who is holding the other

but one of us forgotten, foraging through our home in desperation to remember

what we did not know so cannot name

nor assure this body it is safe.

Blessed are we whose bravery guards the doors and windows

long past signs of danger, so fierce in our defence

it greets each demon as a stranger,

sounding alarms to activate emergency procedures

when the threat is but a spectre

with unfinished business.

Feeble and listless, these spirits will float

amongst the source of their affliction and our sickness

until they find in us a friend.