I kicked over a glass of red wine yesterday.
The streak of scarlet on cream was met with silence
Rather than yelling. Even worse.
Yesterday it sat, sad and ashamed,
Soaking through the house’s supply of salt.
But today, its lilac stain matches
The co-ordinated engagement banner and balloons.
The rooms are filled with the silence of food.
Crisps await their rustling. A fat honey-roasted ham
Proud and patient.
Big bowls of salad are motionless, contented
In happy greens and reds.
Guests arrive. Family. Sunburnt uncle and aunt.
Writer father- in- law. Artist mother- in- law.
Divorced, they drink prosecco at opposite ends of the room.
Do they remember theirs?
Long-haired brother, smiling girlfriend.
Fiancees, mother, father.
We are going to watch a home video of the couple.
But father can’t resist the oldies.
Over chocolate torte they tell me stories of myself at 3 years.
I sneak upstairs for a precious respite.
I think they don’t know me.
But they know more than I ever could.
We wave goodbye.
I don’t know when I’ll see you again.
The food is sad now. Scattered around,
Dreading the coldness of the fridge or the shame of the bin.
I arrived too late to be a part of this club.
I’ll never catch up. But no-one ever does.
The Walk Home
A petrol rainbow yawns around your shoe and rain glistens down leaves, like fireflies.
Some snowdrops in a garden bow their heads with no advice to pass.
Car headlights. A Crocus burns out in violet before it can reach the sky.
And then, uninvited, happiness creeps in under the draught excluders, bypassed
by the snoozing cat. It quietly cuts the pain from the photos on your shelf,
Draining the colours to sepia. And, when you’re sleeping, makes an unwelcome guest.
It clings to your irises. It drives your car with calm hands. It nestles itself
In your ear. It rolls you out of bed into warm socks.
It lifts your hands into a ray of light to tease the dust into undulations.
And it’s swept away in the light to come crashing against the wall
Where it strikes a dull yellow circle. The moment is lost.
Find yourself with your fingers stretched out, thinking of something else.
Bio: Ella Chappell is studying English Literature with Creative Writing at UEA. She is a Norwich-based writer with a Mancunian soul.
Poetry in Aldeburgh 2017
1 month ago