content note: illness/ageing
Although (or perhaps because)
I’m neither Prodigal nor Older
and although (or perhaps because)
this Younger went out and built a life
and the Older returned, not
having managed it; which is
which is another (or perhaps the same)
still always, when I visited,
there would be fêting--
if not the fatted calf, then certainly
a well-enough fed one--
and from early morning
would steal from the kitchen
where you’d be weighing,
Peelings tidy on a square
of kitchen roll; those ridiculous
tiny knives we teased you about.
Now, though, you are upstairs,
small in your dressing gown,
a look on your face
as of someone trying to make out
an object in the distance--
not able to, but still trying;
puzzled; your circle buffering,
endlessly. If you were a shop,
the door blind would be down,
the sign flipped to “Closed”.
Downstairs, the eggs in the rack
are dust-filmed, out of code.
The fridge holds Fortisip, crème caramel,
Pepsi Max, cracked-heel-hard cheese.
Even the usual sad slither
of last month’s salad is gone.
So now, when I arrive back with all
the familiar complement of hungers--
now, not even that one is sated.
is a former Poet Laureate of South Cumbria and has been published widely in print and online, most recently in Channel, Poetry Birmingham, Anthropocene and Pennine Platform. Her micro-pamphlet wish you were here is available from Hedgehog Press, who will publish shades of blue later this year.
Copyright for all work remains with the author thereof and any requests to reprint should be made directly.
Issue 1 © SPOONFEED Magazine
SPOONFEED x New Writing © Caitlin Allen