Alterations – by Mel Parks


You stood on my chair in dim winter light
fidgeted, squirmed, giggled as I tickled
your legs with pins, tucking skirt hem tight
to mid-thigh. You paid me with cigarettes.
I didn’t ask how, didn’t say I no longer smoked,
or mention tenners disappearing from my pot,
each visit. But told you, stay for soup. Chicken
from scraps. Carrots too. Bring kids after school.
You sat on my chair that dark winter night,
eyes drifting, filling, welling, elbows sunk raw
in my gnarly, creaking table. Kids slurped soup,
played dominoes fetched from the attic, fell asleep
on the sofa, one each end, after you kissed them
in your new short skirt, and let the door slam shut.




Mel Parks studies part-time for an MA in Creative Writing at Brighton University. She is a copywriter and runs creative writing workshops in Mid Sussex. She is inspired by Welsh mythology, ecofeminism, motherhood and the connection between movement and creativity. Her poetry retelling the story of Blodeuwedd has been published online in Three Drops from a Cauldron and in their print anthology, Lughnasadh 2017.

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