Day 5 – Reality TV you’ll never see

Royals on Big Brother
Caroline Lucas in the Jungle
David Attenborough on Take Me Out
Angela Merkel acting in Rapunzel

Simon Cowell taking singing lessons
Brad Pitt teaching drama in Crewe
Theresa May in the boxing ring
Katie Hopkins being good.



Day 4 – Mum’s earrings

Lilac circles like liquorice allsorts
Defined a casual 80s looks
Baggy jumpers and spiky hair

Magenta teardrops with matching dress
Perhaps a blazer and a broach
The dozen weddings of our youth

Carat gold knots like miniature danish swirls
A more sophisticated look
Scarves and theatre trips

Baby pink crystalised drops
Like cough sweets swinging from silver threads
Handmade with love



Day 3 – Nostalgia

A stained, frayed festival wristband
It could be cut off and discarded
Or saved in a bulging scrapbook
But it clings to your wrist as if
Life depends on it.

Peroxide that goes on easy as underwear
Although your hair can’t take it anymore
Like tinsel that’s seen better days
But you hold on to the fantasy
Of a silky golden mane.

Day 1 – Shamed

My compassion was delayed
For the nine-year-old
Who couldn’t act in her drama class
Because even pretend mockery was too much to bear.

I winced at her back then
Her reluctance to play the part of the girl who was shamed
Because that’s how she saw herself in real life
The one who couldn’t get things right.

How could she be so scared of fiction?
Why would she always play small to stay safe?
Hiding behind the curtain prompting others
Sometimes even then losing her voice.

Twenty years later I can hold her hand in my mind
And tell her that it’s understandable
That her fear would eventually be contained
Sometimes vulnerability would reign.

Memory threads

The leather jacket wears like new
The scarves with zebra and moose
Clothes that I carry close

The fake fur is falling apart
But I will keep it still
And remember you at St Pancras.

The polka dot dress is us
In Sloane Square
Laughing, getting on well

I’m scared to let the moisturiser run out
It’s Christmas
It’s your soft skin

The pyjamas were cheap
From a long weekend in Bruges
Out of the charity bag again

I keep going back for more
Especially your socks
Your comfort as I walk




Napowrimo day 3 – Elegy for a first love

Your bright white teeth, not as straight as Jo’s
Skewed quiff and doubt in your eyes
The puddle of mud, on a CD case
The Hagrid impression at my mum’s friends place.

Your dance moves, to funky house
The scar on your nose, from Sadie dog.
The unused guitar, gathering dust at college
The lava lamp that I had and you copied.
The red wine that let your emotion show.

Piece by piece the memories
are slipping away – growing shorter
More fleeting
Buried – like you told me that day.