6 Poems by Sally James
Her hands are strong and capable.
She feels wet clay swim between her palms
imagines the moon glowing cold and still
in her fingers.
She sees how blue the sky is that day
how grey mountains point to the clouds
petals scatter in the breeze.
She wants to create something new
from the mellowed earth,
wants to be like a young girl
selling jewels in a cobbled street.
"Don’t sit there" she would scold,
then, "Don’t touch that" she would add
waving a duster in white knuckled hands.
Her weapons stood at the ready
waiting to be goose-stepped into action,
her scrubbing brush bristling with rage,
the donkey stone waiting for the carrot.
The kitchen gleamed white in the frost,
pink carbolic smarted proudly in a saucer.
She let the crystal water spurt into a kettle
from a lone brass tap, placed it on the fire to boil,
whilst I sat cross -legged on a peg rug
polishing the wooden table legs
with a piece from her old knickers.
His eyes shone, red like a beacon
to amber when the wind changed.
When they beckoned green
I travelled down his path
danced through fields of clover
violet and sweet they were soft
to my toes.
I saw a burning sun bounce
in a blue sky, let his smile
touch my fingers.
I tasted apple juice on his lips
felt the soft balm of kisses
on my cheeks.
He gathered me up like fallen fruit.
I felt the sting of thorns in dried earth.
This was a one way street
and there was no turning back.
never wash my hair
shampoo and conditioner
for my tangled mane.
Instead I let the dog lick it for hours
as we lie together in one tangled ball.
I feel her tongue on my face
then the washing begins
separating each single hair
into soft spittle waves
arranging into glistening curls.
Then we stare into the fire
till it dries into frizzy locks
and the hackles of her back
tell me she is bored.
He saw the letters in her drawer ....
read them over and over
till the words cut out his heart
He tried to calm the rage
but it burned like
Parts of him flew every where.
A hand slapped her face
closed fists met her chin
feet lodged in her stomach
a sharp tongue slashed with words
the penis nailed her to their bed.
I pushed the tin pram on the cobbles
it rattled like a tram.
I had broken my doll, the one with
the pot head, sleeping eyes
and fixed grin.
In the backyard, hens pecked
at old grass between stone flags,
ate breadcrumbs from my fingers.
The red one was my favorite.
I had watched it grow from a yellow chick
till its chirping became a cluck.
I gathered up the bundle
of warm feathers
the scrawny legs dangled
like knotted string.
I placed the spluttering hen
on a doll pillow covered it
with a doll blanket.
Its new nest, my rattling tin pram.