Poetry: "Skim" & "Sylvia"


yesterday we went down the lane / picked blackberries / wild raspberries / you called them grapes / I carried you / our heads together / we laughed in each other’s mouths / followed the path to the river / a small beach / stones in the water / your dad made the stones dance

/ all the way across / like flycatchers skimming for insects / kissing little wavetops / an anti- gravity trick / you copied him / plucked my heart from your pocket / made it skip too / all the

way across / and back to you


my English teacher told me about you / how you bit your husband’s cheek / before he was your husband / at a party / bit him like an apple / for years I bit men too / hoping they’d pass the test / and my teeth would meet in a poet / but I never found my nemesis / I’m lighter for it / less poetic / and for you / there should have been years of drama / loosening its grip / until you stood at a point so distant / you could map your success / then shrug it off / we are containers for pain / the trick is finding how to empty the overflow / before the force / before the hot and cold / fractures / scathes / I’m no one / but if I could be the fairy at your crib / I’d wish you survival / a long life of blessings and curses / mortality and all its losses

Rachel lives in the High Peak with her partner and two-year-old daughter, surrounded by mountains, books and mountains of books. She was selected for Mumwrite 2020 (funded by Arts Council England) which has introduced her to the pleasures of experimental writing. Her writing has recently been published in Lucky Pierre Zine.