Hilary Hares – three poems


Stone-faced in the small, square Ford that smells
of oil and damp, my father’s bucking through the gears

without the aid of synchromesh. His cactus arm sticks out
to show we’re turning right, his sleeve soaked through with rain.

Under the tartan blanket in the back I make a world where I
can be The Lady of Shalott, the windscreen-wipers slowing

as we climb each hill, my mother granting favours –
single squares of Fruit-and-Nut.

How to peel a rutabaga

cull top
and tail

your knife

its shoulder

the slide
into its
sharp work

the curve
the blade

the armadillo skin
peel back

the layers

that sweet flesh

the right word

The Green Denby Jug

sits on top
of the un-tuned piano
handle akimbo on one full hip.

Unused all year,
in August it will bloom
home-nurtured gladioli
backlit by my father’s pride.

I sit on the floor and stare
at the green denby jug;
an empty vessel,

Hilary Hares lives in Farnham, Surrey and spent 27 years using the power of words to raise money for charity. She has a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Winchester and an MA in Poetry from Manchester Metropolitan University. She is published in a number of magazines and anthologies and is currently working on a memoir sequence entitled ‘Re-inventing the Red Queen’.


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