I have lived in fifty houses
It was the last thing I took to bed with me, a she, a cat, human in that it knew me. A pink cat knitted from pink wool, stuffed with brown tights. How brown on legs they would have looked. Not it but she, Kitty, knitted by Elizabeth, my sister. An oval body, pink with brown poking through the gaps. Two arms, giant-sausage-like, sewn on. Two legs, sewn on. Eyes, sewn on; blue. Nose. No mouth. A line of pearls, sewn on. No smile. A listener. The last thing I loved that slept with me.
No nagging over bedtime. I will not shake you in the morning when you struggle to open your eyes. I’ll take you shopping and pay for blond highlights and phone the school to tell them you have the doctor’s, dentist’s, hospital, a funeral. I’ll buy you cola and crisps and shout at the men to mind their language and close the toilet door. I’ll blow my smoke away from your face and buy you orange juice and chips and find you somewhere far from the fruit machine when it gets too late. I’ll cover you with my coat. When you’re twelve you can have a row of holes in your ears. I’ll pay for your first tattoo. They made a mess of mine.
At the Bus-Stop
Low in his deck-chair buggy, chocolate-spread fingers lapping butt-ends, moon-faced, waxy as cheese, smoke petals spiralling from his sunflower head, the baby cries out to me as they try to stuff in his dummy, For Christ’s sake, don’t just leave me here!
About the Contributor
Josephine Corcoran started writing again in 2010 after a long spell of not writing. Her poetry pamphlet ‘The Misplaced House’ was published by tall-lighthouse in November 2014. She is person in charge at And Other Poems (www.andotherpoems.wordpress.
Centres of Cataclysm: 50 Years of Modern Poetry in Translation - Ed. Sasha Dugdale
Its poems deal with the loss of homes, countries, people, languages, and cultures. The inclusion of a rich range of ideas and experiences in one place offers hope but also serves as a warning about the fragility of any union. It's a beautiful, respectful book which honours loss.
More from Issue Six:
- Give Sorrow Words by Anna Vaught
- Pull me in by Melissa Fu
- Variations on Girl with a Red Balloon by Tessa Torgeson
- Written in Advance by Nathan Fidler
- Mrs Fox by Marian Womack
- Tomorrow by Vivienne Burgess
- The Kulaks Of Chelsea by Tadhg Muller
- Some Kind Of Happiness by Heidi James
- Dust Covers and Margins by Jennie E. Owen
- Sitting, Standing, Mending by Alison Jean Lester
- Ghosts by Catherine Mitchell
- And I was filled with such delight by Catherine Edmunds