In the shape of a tree,
my scar is painted with code.
Through the letting of blood, I wait
for the sound of my screams.
But what I do not plan for
is the mashed up sycamore spinners,
the trampled copper conkers
and the singed bramble bushes.
Graceless and broken,
I get high on the thoughts
of owning myself; the plumage
of starlings embroidered
on an intimate mind.
Climbing trees, juicy mangoes
pliant flesh and ashy elbows
to be running free through the long grass
and burrs sticking to legs, gaze widening
no thought for shiny brown skin
causing hate, no thought for others
white starched lace dress
sweat between breasts
so out of place it’s painful
at one time, just exotic plants
traced on paper, here
they touch their wide glossiness
intruders but still
the belief of ownership
I learn to watch, watch and learn,
to stay safe, to stay alive
I know them better than themselves
and yet I’m the primitive one,
the spicy savage
a transaction in their day.
bound by crows
unable to gaze
beyond the veil,
I choose helpless
in a sword pronged
To be black with wings
is better than none.
As the night sky –
a portal of possibilities –
only my shackled
screams can reach
In case you’re a kid who doesn’t have the right equipment,
and just in case you’re growing too big for your bones and have to walk around in second-feet shoes,
take a moment to nestle in the autumn chilled grass,
lean in close, breathe in the slack conker smell and squint. You might not have a magnifying glass but you can still
recognise kin. Ladybirds, beetles and ants.
Creatures of the earth. Overlooked and taken for granted, caretake as you learn to nurture yourself into bloom.
The bride stays calm in her three tiered dress.
Pretending not to notice the munchkins slicing into the her bodice or the gingerbread man chewing on her trailing lace.
With each full toothed grin, she hopes she dislodges
the sharp prongs of scorn cutting into her skull from her tiara. Hopes she flicks off the droplets of bloods staining her veil.
With the dark cloud gathering
and the guests running for cover she stays at the altar, mouthing her vows to love, cherish and grieve the little girl lost and wasted on marzipan and sugared icing.
In a gondola steered by a bunny with pink
ears and white feathered wings, I rest.
Serene and floating upon a turquoise body of water,
I keep my eyes closed, keeping out the light,
keeping out thoughts of failure.
Let me just drift into the unknown
where there may be green shoots to suck
and damp grass to tinkle my toes.
Who knows, what’s around the bend.
All I know; I’m wearing my favourite bow,
my rubber giraffe is sinking like a ship
along with my rocking horse of dreams.
An oversized, blue fluffy bunny
is the things of nightmares. Garish, stalks the playroom floor.
I hide behind the enlarged
building blocks, hands over ears and heart busting my chest. Afraid
the bunny will hear me, find me
and beat me. Beat me for being me. I didn’t do anything wrong.
I fear this fear. Not knowing
where the next blow from the taloned paw is coming from and why.
Not knowing if my existence
is an affront or punishable offence. I dream of other floors
with soft cushioned landings
blankets and warmth, like under autumn leaves breathing orange.
I feel like I’m holding a million little Sherees
in my arms and each one with a need to be fulfilled.
I’m lost, not knowing what to do for the best, who to listen to the first. All are fragile and in pain.
They’re little me’s at different times in my life.
The little puffy afro-ed toddler.
The dreadlocked housewife. The first school bunchies kind of kid. The jet black straight haired newborn. The baldy divorcee.
Mini Sherees all making noise
vying for my attention, craving love wanting to be seen and healed.
I’m afraid one will slip through my fingers,
or I’ll break the neck of another. It’s a huge responsibility to carry myself alone. And not allowing one single Sheree in.