Jane Ayres

these shiny gifts

we always tell stories
things that shine
                         – allure –
              a lure for
those who
let daydreams be poems
& poems         daydreams

remembering

you were
lilac and yellow freesias
warm sugared milk 
unwavering
maternal love

estuary whispers 

there are years of wasps
& years of
notwasps
but most of the time
life stings

unleashing shadows

the consultant said a shadow was showing on the scan
                             try not to worry
we tried           
but once the words were out   
veiled darkness began seeping 
growing greedy 
birthing shadow spawn & we knew      
from now on   
there would always be shadows

a moment

sitting with grief that twists   
I pause   
             -   a sip of strong coffee   
             -   a bite of whisky-infused chocolate    
             (redundant birthday gift)    
you are still here   
& I am    
(still)    
afraid

*TRIGGER WARNING: MISCARRIAGE*

New life    

We can keep trying, he says. We won’t give up.
She washes freshly red-spotted sheets, pegs them on the line, listens to the merciless wind smothering hope. Later, she dreams about finding a sparrow’s nest in the hedge, hears hungry soft-feathered downy babies crying to be fed.  But when she looks again, they have disappeared.
We can keep trying, she says. We won’t give up. 

~~~

UK-based writer Jane Ayres completed a Creative Writing MA at the University of Kent in 2019 aged 57. She has work in Dissonance, Confluence, Lighthouse, Streetcake, The North, The Poetry Village, Door is a Jar, Kissing Dynamite, (mac)ro(mic), Versification, Crow & Cross Keys, Ample Remains, Sledgehammer, and The Forge. This is Jane’s first feature on The Short of It.

  

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