Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

The Difficult Second Wife

Bursting from the past’s shadow to initially engaged applause,
she steps onto the scene and the crowd falls silent,
there is a cough from the back of the auditorium,
a whistle and crash as hopes fall like ancient bombs,
for she is the difficult second wife.

She is the dreaded second chance at love,
the one who was ACTUALLY the one, according to someone who spent a long time and a lot of money investing in the idea of another,
up until recently,
…this time,
it’s for real,
and it’s HER,
and she fit a reused ring so perfectly,
so she became the difficult second wife.

The difficult second wife keeps her secrets in a locked diary,
so full of distrust,
she locks lips like she has something to prove.
At the sight of the first wife,
hell hath no fury like the long legged girl with the short temper,
but the sex is electric,
because she’s new,
not bored of you yet,
immune to your flaws and the causes of your difficult first divorce,
so her frenzies are forgiven.

She is, of course, eager to please,
knee deep in dirty looks,
thrown by family and friends who insist that they’re just adjusting,
and that they don’t mean to be cruel.
She catches each insult and shoves it into her mouth,
fashioning it into a crude smile that she shares,
without a single word,
because the difficult second wife doesn’t want any trouble.

When the sun sets,
and you’ve fallen asleep,
she pours all her pain into the pages of her diary.
There are places, glances and love songs that are lost on her,
because they came before her,
and can never belong to her.
She may be today’s love,
but can she compete with the ghost of a great love?
The difficult second wife dies on the pages of her diary,
desolate and dangerous as the tears fall,
with nobody to hold her.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Straight and Narrow

Every now and then I find myself fantasising about the most unremarkable things.
Daydreaming about washing dishes as you dry with a tattered teatowel,
when my guilt comes in gallons and works its way down my throat,
I think about washing dishes with you,
with your favourite record playing from the living room,
and your hands, wrinkled from the water and the waves of time wrap around my throat,
because I am a bad, bothered, bastard girl and…

I think about how I’d pretend to fall asleep in the sandy steps of a dandy beach,
your legs, a perfect pillow for the perfect pretender,
who could pretend she’d done nothing wrong.
Kept on the straight and narrow by your slender fingers,
slight around my sweet neck,
slender fingers that remind me of the girl who haunts my unwoken hours,
and there I go again,
going off the rails,
going where you cannot follow,
because you cannot keep me from my nature,
no matter what you do.

Nothing about you thrills me more than the thought of us singing lullabies to the little lambs we had,
one summer, by the coast,
twin blessings, so we didn’t have to try more than once.
My lapis lazuli love,
when I’m medicated by my own assorted guilt,
assuming the life of a lady I wrote about long ago,
hoping, while hopeless, that she can be kept from her urges.

You do the pick up,
so I am not tempted by the trail of “yummy mummies” that lines the school gates,
and you enjoy the praise, for being an involved Dad,
so it takes the edge off being sad about the sham that awaits you when you get home,
and how your slender fingers have no choice but to roam to my naughty, easily misled neck.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Growing Up

I think wistfully about what I will be like when I grow up.

Clean credit cards,

a clean sink that gleams, as if it has never glimpsed a dirty dish,

a son, settled into sleep (I am so convinced it is a boy),

while I write,

perched on the windowsill,

singing softly to my assorted indoor plants,

and the patient glow of the moon.

There is no landlord,

and I am the lady of a tidy home,

wearing neat, sensible clothes as I turn walks to nursery school into a wild adventure,

quite out of character for my new persona,

but the last little part that I will keep of who I was.

There is a shadow of a soulmate,

when I dream about it,

always in the corner of my eye,

or just out of reach,

and sometimes,

I ask them who they are,

but there is always refusal,

so I reluctantly accept that sometimes,

you have to wait for the answers.

I spend my time,

in the current time, being stiff, distant and weird to suitors,

so I can be sure that they’ll stay,

if I get back to my old ways (which are technically my current ways),

but just like the lonely sea,

I am always left bereft,



I think I ought to try being more palatable,

but who really wants to just be tolerated?

My son has dark brown eyes, like mine,

and I have yet to tell him that the dinosaurs are extinct,

because I cannot bear to break his heart.

He has the smallest hands I have ever held,

but they are always cold,

like a ghost,

and I haunt the hospital,

pleading for peace of mind,

while a doctor (always a male) tuts, and says that ALL new mothers are hysterical.

I have never seen my boy as baby,

so it feels unfair to be labelled as new,

but I suppose it’s one of those things where you never stop learning,

so I lean into the label,

grateful that my child gazes up at me as if I am a God.

Posted in Creative Writing, Personal, Writing

My Misspent Youth

Cool girl,

Canary Wharf,

pickpocketing promises,

of necklaces and neck kisses,

when all she wants is dinner and drinks,

the chance to collapse into the city,

see the world,

on the right side of the river.

Taking notes,

in lectures,

bustling bars,

on how to find a rich man,

to take to the inevitable family events,

where everyone asks,



what’s going on in your love life?”.

Maybe she could be a rich man,

like Cher said,

drinking and dining alone,

on the docks.

Cool girl,

Canary Wharf,

pockets full of diamonds,


and determination.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing


Night falls,

and the hands of time,

are tornadoes,

ticking and trawling on.

Round and round,

reliving our frequent fights,

silently saying ‘Sorry’,

counting the things we have in common,

creeping around each other,

silent, sombre snakes,

nightmares in the daylight,

only dreaming when it gets dark.

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