On following my friend into the woods
we’d ever spend at school. I found her
where we always played, the earth
had sprouted up a carpet there
with lichens, ferns, the shady parts.
What’s up? I said, you didn’t wait.
Her face had aged, her skin, a table top
we’d made from crates.
Our Arcimboldo portrait hall
was now her flesh
the fruit, the oaken things. The veg
that once restored her nose and eyes.
and drenched the armchairs
glued with leaves and cones.
I whispered - Its ok, we’ll still be friends.
We won’t, she said, and pulled my cheeks
between her hands - Come on, I’ll race you
to the very edge, she said.
Her manner, then, her warmth
more frightening than ivy growth
that now replaced her golden hair.
A house of leaves we’d spun
made knives from birch
and plates from bark. And acorn cups
had soothed her baby brother, when he wept.
She’d curve an angel clear across his trembling back.
I’d see her
silent as the birds when gunshot shrieks
across the trees and if I thought of her at all
it’s when I saw her mother
screech and sprawl
across a car park in her truck.
An armoured thing
that took great chunks from supermarket walls.
A former lecturer at South & City College Birmingham UK, Lois has work included in two addiction anthologies - A Wild and Precious Life (Unbound) & Despite Knowing (Fore Street Press). Her daughter’s recovery from alcoholism has been documented in an ongoing series of poems - Bottle Girl @ recovery.
She has also been published with Poetry Bus Magazine, Indigo Dreams, Culture Matters Co-Operative Ltd, Creative Ink, The Madrigal Press, Transcendent Zero Press & Last Stanza Poetry Journal.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.