Preserved & Other Poems


You see them as moons in their vinegar warmed with ginger root and coriander, mustard seed and chilli. Or if not moons

then the fluther of moon jellyfish you saw backlit in a tank, their slow rise and fall a living lava lamp. You stopped to watch

when lights tinged their moonstone-white with lilac-blue, iridescent as the lustre glass your grandmother kept on her mantelpiece.

Don’t eat pickled onions while they’re white, she said. You line the jars up in a cupboard and wait for the pale globes to burnish brown.

World Cup 2006

That’s the trouble

with England, Dad said,

they raise your hopes up

then they go and let you down.

His spoon shook in the bowl.

The food was mashed

so he didn’t choke.

Two nurses chatted

as they stripped a bed.

I can’t eat this muck.

The blinds were half-shut

against the sun, the TV

was turned down low.

Bring me something tasty

the next time you come.

We crammed the ward fridge

with food he wouldn’t eat.

Quarter finals though,

he said. I suppose

you never know.

Sharon retired from her career in education in 2015 and started learning to write poems. Her work has most recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in The High Window, Amaryllis, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Algebra of Owls and Penteract Press’s Concrete and Constraint anthology.

Sharon's website: Here!

Twitter: @sharoncowling