I have a picture of you
in your first shoes,
taken by an eager
shop assistant. You
are angry, trying
to climb out of them,
as if they are the first
of many shackles.

I recall that you, –
my early walking,
ever mobile,
bouncing baby –
refused to take a step
for me, or for
the nice, kind lady
with the camera.

You eyed us balefully.




For Poets United, where the midweek motif is “shoes”. 



I am the queen of words,
and their slave.

You come in, and vomit
your words in front of me.
I kneel, sorting through
the sharp shards of words
that cut my fingers,
the dull, slimy words
that choke me. I construct
some kind of story from them,
we construct some kind of story
from them.

I am the witchbitch that built the tower,
and the princess trapped there,
and the wyrm that guards it.

You wrap your arms around your words
and hold them back from me.
I offer you a hundred nuanced shades
of meaning, and still you keep
your mouth closed, lips tight over
clenched teeth, words trapped
in the darkness.

I am the old woman holding out the apple,
and the girl who bites it.

There are words smeared dripping
over the walls of this small room,
there is a stink of them, rotting
in the corners.

There are words floating free
like glistening insects,
rising on shafts of light.

I will make your story.


Linked to Poets United, and to Real Toads, for a Real Toads prompt – words –