Sunday, 21 January 2024 12:41


Written by
in Poetry


by Chrys Salt

Mum cooks Zac’s favourite pasta
slices, stirs -
his mum’s not missing, buried in their house.
It’s not her hand he sees, a ring she wears
a ring he knows and screams.

Six-year-old Farah searches for her doll
can’t sleep without it but it’s blown sky high
with letters, spices, photos, toys,
every brick and stick of memory -
but Isabel has hers,
a rabbit cuddled close.
Snuggled down her duvet
pink with unicorns
she begs another story before lights go out.

Another roams a battered hospital, shouts
the names of missing mum, dad, twin,
hunts the littered wounded corridors
but Dad’s not here,
he orders Arsenal strip online.
Pumps up a leather ball.
Tells to mind the glass in the conservatory.

A swaddled daughter in his arms.
he stumbles down alley ways
of garbage, piss and shit
discarded shoes, bent mudguards, pans
searching for a place to bury her,
but Clare’s not dead, she laughs
high on a home-made hoist dad built
to fly her in the garage
in a fairy frock.

Every stricken little face
kids in the park with skateboards,
nosing Shaz’s counter-top for sweets
the lad with AHD next door
my grandchildren
made sudden orphans,
sudden broken things
not to be mended bodies, minds,
not to be salvaged from their savage lot.
Not to be schooled or fed
wear Arsenal strip
kick balls
Not to be cuddled, loved by those they’ve lost
not to be tucked in bed with stories
or a goodnight kiss.
Not to be any more at home,
for home is blood and rubble.
Bed is this.

Read 344 times Last modified on Tuesday, 23 January 2024 14:21
Chrys Salt

Chrys has authored eight poetry collections and has performed her work across the UK and Europe, India, Australia, Yukon and Africa. 

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