She doesn’t like couches
especially leather ones;
siesta beyond your welcome
and experience the loathsome peeling of exposed skin
as plucked hairs prickle and rip
like unveiling a band aid
to reveal an unhealed wound
and yet here she is
stretched full length, legs crossed at the ankles;
form the cavern of his beard a hypnotic voice urges
take me back – slowly from the compartment of her mind
she pulls the memory: unfurls it
like a ruby red rug, follows the path
to the death of her childhood
It’s 4 p.m. when she realises you are late
And the uniformed laughter of the bus-stop
Turns caustic in her ears, quietly she slips
From the group to the phone box sanctuary
Lifting the receiver she connects to conjoined sobs.
Without a word she hangs up dials three little digits,
for an operator to inform her an ambulance is on it’s way.
Exiting to the low groan of late afternoon traffic;
the entire universe seems to be suddenly packed
into her school satchel and pulls down on her shoulders.
realising she is a only mile from her home
she starts to run but knows the battle is over
before it has begun; blue flashing wails
come in waves, then halt, and envelop her.
looking round she sees the paramedic
motion for her to climb in,
like a failed criminal she is known to them.
They arrive at her home to find it locked up, blinds down
breaking in is like waking a sleeping child,
soft screams seep from the shattered window.
Entombed in the ambulance, her mother
reaches out to hands folded near her naval
as if searching for an umbilical defibrillator
she can attach to her chest and restart
her petrified heart, as tear swollen lips slur
I didn’t want to die today
the daughter’s inner child screams “neither did I”
but outwardly smiles “everything will be ok”.
Based in Northern Ireland Geraldine O’Kane 30, has been writing poetry for over 10 years, she has had several poems published in local magazines and online e-zine’s, Black Cat Poems, Speech Therapy and Allo Trope, Short, Fast and Deadly. She has previously been part of a local writing group at the Craic Theatre and has performed some of her work in local Theatres and the Dungannon Borough Council Arts Festival. Her poetry is mostly inspired by observation and the human condition and emotion.