The pomegranate, halved, looks like a brain,
exposed and vulnerable, papery membrane
shielding the cells, easy to take apart:
too apt an image for my father’s mind.
I peel the membrane clear, loosen the seeds
from bitter pith. The juice flies everywhere,
pinpricks of purple staining where they touch.
My mother’s anger holds the world in thrall,
makes winter everywhere. How many seeds
would I have had to eat to get away
for good? It didn’t work like that for me:
to eat what I was given kept me bound
unwilling daughter in my mother’s house.
Why, this is Hell, nor am I out of it.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
can make a Hell of Heav’n, a Heav’n of Hell.
Easier said than done. A part of me
still hopes for spring, though it can’t come for him,
still clings to signs of life. I crunch the seeds
and taste the sun in winter’s shortest days.
We move towards the turning of the year.
About the Contributor
Caroline Gonda is a lesbian academic working on literature, gender and sexuality, and particularly on queer reception. She also writes stories and poems
The Willow Cabin - Pamela Frankau
More from Issue Ten:
- Tracks of Life and Death by Liz Kohn
- A short course of treatment by Tim Love
- Heating disorder by Myriam Frey
- Heirlooms by Rosie Garland
- Mourning by Katherine McMahon
- The Ghost of my Mother is waiting for me in Arrivals by Claire Collison
- Pakistan Zindabad, from Abroad by Hana Riaz
- Adopt a vortex by Han Smith
- Sea Sickness by Eloise Unerman
- British Street Music by Tamim Sadikali
- Pomegranate by Caroline Gonda