The Five Year Sentence
Different has twin fs.
He pictures them as wasps, special, not loved,
ripe for stinging the weekly spelling test.
Jam stains his word list.
Get Back. He loves Rock n Roll songs with toast.
He’s humming I Feel Fine in perfect pitch.
Time for departures.
His bag’s Nike logo ticks him ready.
Teachers’ dice will rattle and shake his day.
Panicked, he packs in
every book, the more for less forgetting.
Zips gag on letters home, unfinished work,
A reek of sports shirt leaks neglect. The door
spits us out, my long-lashed camel, my float,
my Siamese fear.
In the street he stutters on the kerb’s teeth,
crosses. The pavement dribbles him from me.
The day’s uphill roll
ends. Mouth stuffed with words, the rucksack blocks
the hall. He curls behind the couch, lips sealed.
She used to live in a valley
but now she is drawn to edges,
the coughing Holyhead coast
whose gruff bays retire from sea.
Pitted rocks grow old in purple
below the bearded grey sky.
Outside she loves the taunt of wind
its thrash, its rush, its breakaway.
Inside, in the space of time left,
she decorates rooms, refreshes
an old house with clean, clear lines,
stripped pine and aqua tones.
In her studio she tears shorelines
of magazines to sculpt hares,
cuts a curve of waves into lino.
She tames glass beads, that lost
angry corners, found a stroke
of self in the smoothing sea.
Helen’s work has appeared in various magazines and anthologies . Her debut pamphlet, A Poultry Lover’s Guide to Poetry, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2015. Her five chickens were happy about this.