‘And how many children do you have?’ asks my taxi driver (I do not know what the countless other inquisitors do. I never ask.) 

*BRACE* *BRACE* *BRACE*

I look out of the window and fix a smile. 

‘None. No children’ I say, as if it was an oversight. That I tripped and carelessly dropped them somewhere along the way and forgot to pick them up like abandoned coins on the path.

My face is studied. Lines counted. My history examined fleetingly in jigsaw pieces.

He turns back to the road ahead and the journey continues in silence.

I look out of the window once more. 

I count my lost pennies. 

#impossiblequestions #lostpennies

They are not lies, you understand,⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
but carefully navigated truths...⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
this edited life of mine on display.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Curated and gauzed,⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
trimmed and snipped.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
A reality made hazy ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
and smudged at the edges.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Images of buccal cheeks⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
gnarled by nightime worry,⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Standing on imagined beaches, ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
waiting for a tsunami of grief for people ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
not yet gone,⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
to hit.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
These are things that will not make it to my wall.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Neither will the stones I carry in the pit of my stomach sometimes,⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
where babies have slept in deathly slumber. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣
The fear and shame⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
at plans gone wrong.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
The words, unwritten.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
The things not done.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
The skeleton whispers⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
(they sometimes shout). ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Or titles bestowed upon me, ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
against my will and wishes.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Divorced
Motherless⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Anxious⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Failed⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Oh no, these thin...

It is late

And dark

And I cannot see my baby's face,

The way she sleeps,

His bellied laugh.

The rise and fall 

And in and out

Of her.

I cannot recognise the way

She tips her head to work things out

As I do

As I am.

I cannot hold his hand in mine

My hand in hers

Or feel his breath

Against my cheek.

Alas 

it cannot be.

It is late.

Too late.

And so

so dark

For my baby

And for me. 

This is the view that watched me grow

that saw me break

that helped me heal

that always stood

when I returned.

This is the view that did not judge

that did not scold

that whispered hope.

This is the view

that fills my veins

that chokes my lungs

and gives me life.

This is the mountain 

made of earth

that’s made of me

and Those before.

Yn gadarn graig,

A rock of strength

Of Mam and Dad’s,

Of time stood still.

This is the view 

that knows it all

but does not tell

and never will.

This is the view that always is

will always be

when I return

a broken child

in shell of old,

When all have gone

but It

and

Me.

Short Short

She would lie quietly. Still. Beautiful. Stillbeautiful. Ethereal. Yes. That’s it. Ethereal in Egyptian cotton. In a bed as big as Russia. Dreaming of the men she has kissed and the men she would like to kiss but who have left her. By the side of her bed are wilted roses in white and a book of Neruda’s poetry, in Spanish, which is tear stained and smells of faded perfume and sad thumbs and disappointment.

The light outside pushes bolshy-like through a slit in the curtain throwing a shard of day over our heroine’s face.

She stirs.

A violin begins to play something that was once used in an advert to sell chocolate or sofas or dreams or bleach. Or all of the above.

In her half awaked-ness, she tries to make sense of the moment and hour and day and life in which she lies.

And lies.

An over fondness of compound words has meant that it is the way in which she sees the world. Everything stuck together. Connected. But not. Connectedbutnot.

At some point in her notquitedream, she runs, out...

I found my grandmother’s thimble and in it a small piece of tissue with the mold of her finger placed carefully inside. 

It is nineteen years since I heard her voice and I do not know how this is.

I found my grandmother’s thimble and in finding it a million happy memories returned.
Cool hands made of marble, jam sandwiches and tea.
Of a life well lived.
Of love tinged with sadness.

I found my grandmother’s thimble and in the background the white noise told me of more bombs, 
more deaths, 
more children lost.

I found my grandmother’s thimble
placed my finger inside 
held her hand
and cried.

I love caravans. They’re just a little bit magical. I love their not-quite-beds and their not-quite cupboards, their oompa loompa sinks and banquettes. How can you not love something that’s equipped with a banquette?  They take me back to childhood summers sitting around the limbo dance inducing table (there was a technique to sitting at ours which would definitely challenge current health and safety regulations).

Then there’s that caravan smell. The smell of childhood. Of butane and bacon, aftersun and imperial leather, mam’s ‘going out’ perfume and drying bathing costumes. A tin can memory maker where we played ‘twist’ for 2p’s and giggled in the dark.

The ‘Ace Pioneer’ was towed into our lives by my father’s ford cortina in 1978. It was love at first sight for us all. We loved her beige-ness, for she was definitely a ‘she’, and the brown-ness of her belly. She lived on our drive (which was on an incline) and my sister and I would sit and play there for hours. Later, as teenagers, it’s...

Trâth y Slâd.
Where my father says
my soul walks
every night
when I sleep.
Where he would play and dream as a boy
amongst the rocks.

Where today I sat
alone
and not
Surrounded by echoes of another time,
Shaded by trees who whispered 
my childhood name
‘Sara Fach’.
Where my Grandmother would paddle
in silk stockings,
my hand in hers
(hers in mine)
Head thrown back in giggles
like a little girl.
But not today.
She was not there today.
And so she sent
The Sun
to kiss my cheek instead.
Today I sat on Trâth y Slâd
Sadhappy
Happysad.

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