Washing up

The ex-boxer looked down at his red thick-jointed hands emerging from the soapy water. So it had come to this. He shook his head, the spirit rising in his chest again. The door opened. “Hurry up Grandad, we want to go to the park!” He smiled and wiped his hands.

She was just back home

She was just back, just back home. After years away the world she had known looked different, and people looked at her differently. She had changed too, of course, you could see that in her eyes if she ever allowed you to look into them.

She was asleep and flinching in dreams when the window broke. The half brick hit the cot and glass showered across the room. She screamed and screamed as she picked glass from her baby’s face. Her father ran into the room, face pale, eyes wild. He saw blood on his grandson’s head.

She went to the funeral, of course she did. He was her father, her son’s grandfather. Dressed in black she stood next to her mother in the grey mist and rain. Together they raised their eyes to the sky and the rain mixed with their silent tears. Tomorrow they would move away, the woman, the girl and her boy, move far away from their home, move to a place where their past was not known, where the past did not shadow their lives.

First published on https://www.christopherfielden.com/writing-challenges/news-challenge.php 01 March 2019

We broke bread

we broke bread together
and then
we broke the ground
burned dried branches
and spread the ashes on the broken ground

many years later
when neither you nor I
were here
the new trees grew
and houses became homes

we do not need
to be remembered
the buds on the trees
and the hands on the door handle
suffice

Come, break down my house

Come, break down my house.
Come, break it down with your hammers
your bulldozers and ugly angry men.

Break it down, cut down the trees,
turn the bricks to dust, the branches to ashes.
It smelled good the olive wood smoke
when it burned in my hearth.
Now it claws in my throat.

My house is gone, the trees are now cut.
My family stand in the swirling dust
and you laugh.

Laugh, laugh if you will,
but know this.
My house may be gone
but I have breathed in its dust.
My hair smells of the smoke of my trees.
My house may be gone.
My house may be gone.
But my home will always be here.