Half gone now. Half a girl and half a pint of bleach. Blisters budding, baby teeth, the lining of my throat. If it’s precious, they’ll pull you apart. I remember seven years old in the kitchen, soap, an eternity ring down the sink. My father on his knees, the evening light.
They’ll pull up your scabs like sewer-tops. Then rot, dismantled pipes, his toolbox— something bright and precious in the silt. The body-swill. Something raw and fetid turning white. Whiter, now.
I remember the way the plughole gaped the day his ‘always’ slipped, and how he pulled it from a starving child’s mouth.
A door firmly locked
I pick out each raisin and put it on the edge of the table, ease the mince pie from the silver foil. Outside, there’s a minuscule snowman the size of my hand, perched on the frosty wall, smiling cautiously out, watching the two little girls – Aren’t they small, and cute and sweet! bandages of scarves, one flying loose as they pelt their bearded, laughing dad.
Isn’t it biting cold though, and lucky I have a double-glazed window between me and the roaring wind and a fan heater whirring by my side, and a door firmly locked?
Foyle Young Poets of the Year