Medical student by day, writer by night, practising feminist at all times.
My son in law takes me to the appointment. He picks me up from outside the red-brick bungalow I’ve lived in for the long decade since my husband passed away, then drives the half an hour journey to our nearest hospital. I could have taken the bus, but he insisted on accompanying me. It made sense for him to drive me, he said, and it would do him good to get out of the house, too. I appreciate the gesture, pitying though it is. He knows I don’t like to ask for help, but he also knows that the walk to the bus stop would leave me doubled over these days, gasping and dizzy from the exertion. He pretends this isn’t his reasoning, that he isn’t driving me out of a sense of duty. Kindly, he preserves my dignity. At first, he tells me about my granddaughter’s piano exam, and my grandson’s football match, but for the rest of the drive we are both quiet. We both know what this is about. There is no need to fill silence when there are so many thoughts to untangle. So many of our shared concerns go unspoken.
I am well. I have a body; I am living. I have a mind; I am thinking. The mind does not relent. There are lungs in my chest that expand and fill to sustain me. There is a heart nestled between them that constricts to force life into me.
An ode to kindness 24 stanzas in sapphic form Blooming before you are the roses, guarded but proud. Sharing the vase, there are lilies.
The woman with obsidian satin locks studies, bowing her head downward, her brow furrowed, light, with learning lining skin.
Pause. You're weightless, healing. Racing mind, bare to the breeze who strips you of blue. Inhale, exhale: rituals of care.
I did not learn your name or hear you speak. Cast in bronze, try Gabriele? I thought you suited that; the seraphim of week
We were young. We laughed and sang and we slept in each other’s homes. Camera snapped in our direction, glasses cradled reflection;
The girl, the lady, the woman, the crone: feminine performance decides her role. She will play sweetly, will not live alone.