For the poetry collection, I imagined what life would be like in our fifties and sixties, if we were all alive, by contriving an imaginary reunion. This is a very early draft:
Coat brush each other as we overflow spindly chairs.Jo rests her bag (leather, neat) in her lap as if someone would steal it,
Sarah puts hers (hand sewn, gaudy) on the floor for all to admire,
my rucksack (patchwork, overflowing) hangs behind me.
We laugh, compare children, order drinks.One coffee, milk foamed into fluff, a shot of hazelnut,
one hot chocolate oozing with cream and chocolate curls,
one Earl Grey with fat slices of lemon and no sugar.
We are between lovers, husbands, jobs.Jo’s rings clink against her cup, she wears her history
like her vintage blouse, with elegance
and a touch of theatre.
Cakes arrive, fragrant and ornamented, on bone chinabarely chipped. I nibble an éclair, lick chocolate like a cat.
Jo spreads jam and cream on a scone, closes her eyes as she bites.
Sarah almost touches each cake, weighs up tastiness
then delicately extracts a doughnut, dissects it with a knife,
and eats each morsel, dipping it in fallen sugar.
We hide our scars. Caesarean, appendix, hip replacement.Wrists scarified in a tide of relief.
A chicken pox scar, centred white in a tanned forehead
like a bindi, like an assassin’s mark.
We don’t talk about the past, let memorysharpen our tongues with childhood rage.
Or remember the vortex of depressions.
We can’t talk about the future.
Two of us are dead.
Oh, and just a reminder that Kissing Frankenstein and other stories is available here, on National Flash Fiction day, and I have two stories in it!