against her arm as she dips the scoop in. She can only reach in far enough to capture a tiny scraping. The scoop falls into the container; she bends over into the chill, scrabbling to retrieve it.
The shop bell! Rosy jumps. On the other side of the counter is wee Tony from next door, waiting for his tuppenny cone.
The ice-cream scoop is sticky in her hand. It’s all slimy and it’s making her feel just like when she opened her birthday present that wasn’t the Tiny Tears doll after all.
Tony’s holding out his money. Rosy draws herself up to her full height and swallows hard. ‘Come on, son,’ she says. ‘Make up your mind. I haven’t got all day.’
ROSALIND FLAHERTY, 48, has recently completed two Open University Creative Writing courses. She is constantly thinking about writing but the practicalities of life tend to interrupt. The afternoon is her most productive time, and walking in a nearby park helps her think clearly. She is a part-time supply teacher and grows her own vegetables to relax. ‘Being Auntie Gina’ is her first published work: now that her dream of being published has been realised, she’ll have to think of a new one.
Bathing Jesse James Anna Bendix
I do it on the back porch. He fills it up. Always on a Wednesday. It’s a quiet day. No one passing
to admire the curling hair on each bare haunch, the apple at his throat exposed, or yesterday’s bullet holes like white petals blown onto his skin.
I swear his scent’s like milk from a stalk cut from dandelion, or waving prairie daisy. My husband is a clean man.
He sings, You are my swaying ear of corn as I straighten and lean to sponge him again. I let my yellow hair swing
to tickle his knees as I kiss him upside-down where molars glint, crowned with gold. Some say he stole the lives of seventeen strong men.
I soap each toe, the crooked ankle broken by a horse. Windstorm’s coming. Feel it in my bones. Sideways he looks at me, then blinks, like looking at the sun.
ANNA BENDIX is mother to two daughters, a ten-year-old and a new-born of two months. Her job as an archivist means an irregular writing schedule but, while on maternity leave, she hopes to find some head-space to write. The 38-year-old was the First Prize winner in the Write Queer London Competition 2008; was included in the sonnet anthology Hand Luggage Only (Open Poetry, 2008); and her first poem was published in Poetry News in 2007. She lives within earshot of Brighton Pier and falls asleep to the sound of seagulls and rollercoaster screams.
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Tutored, residential writing courses in the
remote and beautiful Highlands
Our 2010 tutors include:
Kirsty Gunn, Morag Joss, Linda Strachan,
Laura Hird, Jo Shapcott, John Glenday,
Carol Ann Duffy, Lesley Glaister, James Meek, Andrew Greig, Jane Rogers,
Rosemary Bailey, Jeremy Seal, Mairi Hedderwick, Andrew O’Hagan,
James Kelman and Jackie Kay.
Teavarran, Kiltarlity, Beauly, Inverness-shire Tel: 01463 741675 email@example.com www.arvonfoundation.org