She took young men in because girls were trouble with their kitchen theories. War and travel had put paid to her own people and soon a new clan would sup and half-believe in the heat of her living room her intricate appraisal of their tea leaves. A shimmy of the handle and some […]
Maybe we wanted to be taken for fishermen in our sou’westers and wellington boots, long yellow oilskins flapping over our legs in driving Cornish rain. When you live in woods winter mud is constant; giving the oilskins a fringe of dried mud that cracked as we walked. Oilskins – authentic ones that is […]
your blue skirt pools the grass. The cats watch Rachel dancing round us with her red balloon. We are making a memory she says.
Dirty pink petals capped its massive umbels, framed by glossy lobed leaves, deep-slashed, sharp-toothed. Coarse white bristles stiffened along its trunk; blood-red splotches dotted its stems like blemishes. We played in the shade of its canopy, inhaled the resinous stink of aniseed, pretending to be punkah wallahs, fanning a princess. We wielded the hollow stalks […]
She lifts the grey gown from its hook behind the door. It trails slack from her fingers – a skinned wolf. Smoothing it flat on the old table, she traces a circle round the cuff: here’s you scratching your friend’s hand to a sticky map, here’s the belt biting your back. Scissors open, she follows […]
Remember the season we were all mad for the skins of nightingales? How we gadded in full-skirts hung with a hundred beaks – never gave a thought to the nightworkers, to the smothering, gutting and stitching, or to our forests – songless – hung with tiny swaying traps