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January 2014, vol 9, no 4

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Patricia Prime


Your parents’ home. Your bedroom full of books and dolls. A wedding dress hangs on the front of the wardrobe. Shoes lined up in rows. A suitcase packed with clothes.

A photograph, a decade old, faded, skewered to a wall. The bed you shared with a sister. The dresser with two drawers for each of you. A toy cupboard containing jigsaws, games, dolls’ clothes, stuffed toys.

We stop for a celebratory drink, bundle up and step outside onto the blazing snow to the waiting car, leaving prints that drift apart and back together, the soft bright flakes scattered through our hair as though embroidered there.

the moon
a henna-stained palm

It is the awful point of no return. We are whisked off by my father to our new freezing cold home and a bed that feels like ice, with only the two of us to melt it.

morning after –
frozen on the window
a lipsticked message