River in Autumn

Leaving Her Forever-Home


Ceinwen Haydon

Esther-Ann unknots her frame,
eases limbs and back
to sit up bent, in bed.
Her legs swivel, aching feet
staccato on chill lino. She grabs
the headboard, pulls herself up
to stiff half-moon stance.

She feels her way in darkness,
stretches out her arms.
Her hands finger familiar objects 

bumpy walls, cold metalled radiator,
light switch, door handle.

She shuffles forwards,
twisted toes avoiding conflict
with wooden furniture.

Holding her breath, she balloons
into silence. She knows her rooms,
her hallway, well. After eighty years,
life as child, wife and widow. 

Yesterday, concerned voices mooted –

she’d soon be moved, be cared for
since she’s confused, forgetful,
unmindful of gasring risks
and night wanderings.

Esther-Ann picks her pathway
through her home.
Too old for new floorplans,
she stumbles outside
to find her childhood playmates. 

she limps towards her lost friends –

beneath owls’ stares
and beyond gap-toothed castle mound.

Poised on moss-slip stony bank
she waves, smiles greetings.
Her mind spins free
sings along with churning waters,

she dancesteps down to her River Teifi.

Note: River Teifi, Wales – [pron.  ‘ty vee’] – runs through Newcastle Emlyn

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Ceinwen Haydon lives near Newcastle upon Tyne, UK and writes short stories and poetry. She is widely published in online magazines and in print anthologies. Her first chapbook was published in July 2019: 'Cerddi Bach' [Little Poems], Hedgehog Press. Her first pamphlet is due to be published in 2021. She is a Pushcart Prize (2019 & 2020) and Forward Prize (2019) nominee and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University, UK (2017). She believes everyone’s voice counts.