Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Jam Sandwich

He grew like a weed,
sprouting and towering above me,
but in my eyes,
he was still five years old,
jam under his fingernails,
reaching up with a smile and sticky hands.

When he was three, he struggled to speak,
but by thirteen, I couldn’t shut him up,
always gabbing,
babbling about the football as dinner falls from his excited mouth,
a stern stare from his father would restore the memory of his manners.

I remember him that way,
or with sticky fingers and a sweet little smile,
even as the handsome man who used to be a boy,
blushing as I rub the remains of his breakfast from his chin,
shooing me from his side as the other uniformed sons step into line with him.

The house was haunted by the eternal emptiness.
I would stare into the cupboard,
my stare, stuck on the strawberry jam,
the last one in town,
a rare, secret treat that I would not allow to be eaten,
until my boy was back home.

It still stares back at me,
with that same, sticky, sweet smile as the small boy who became a man,
A man who couldn’t stay.

Every evening,
I stay up late,
after a long day of listening to the neighbourhood kids,
wondering if their mothers know how lucky they are to never have a moment’s peace.
Everything is quiet as I switch on the television,
blinking back the burst of light it lets into the room,
and the football highlights start.

I’ve made him a jam sandwich.
It’s on the kitchen table,
with all the other ones.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Personal, Writing

My Father Loved His Horses

My father was always tall,

just centimeters from the sky,

I would pull on his legs,

laughing as he collapsed,

on his hands and knees,

suddenly a horse,

smiling and shuffling across the carpet,

as if he were in a stable.

I would pull myself onto his back,

a princess,

in the sky,

with the highest,

happiest horse in all of Wales.

I would imagine him,

as a horse,

while I waited for him to return.

I would sit by the wireless,

though mother wouldn’t let it play,

and I would imagine,

that when I would least expect it,

I would hear him neighing over the airwaves,

and over the oceans,

so I would often awake,

at dawn,

with a stiff neck,

and the radio in my arms.

My dreams,

filled with static,

from the stables.

When he walked back through our door,

the sky sunk around his shoulders,

he was still tall,

but the sky that surrounded him was scary,

and dark.

I clung to his legs,

as thunder rang out,

smoke in the stables,

he collapsed,

crying,

on his hands and knees,

struggling and shuffling across the carpet,

as if he left his mind,

in the trenches,

with his friends.

I didn’t pull myself onto his back,

I knew I shouldn’t touch,

as he shook,

collapsing into the carpet,

screaming,

until his throat was sore.

I just lay,

inside of his arms,

as he shook and sobbed,

and I was a princess,

on the floor,

with the most shell shocked horse in all of Wales.