The Healing of Mitchell
He stands in playground blues. His place.
He's sad because his mum has died.
The other boys fear his sad face,
for tears can spread like dustbin flies.
The girls could play at being mum,
but being flirts is far more fun.
By chance, or God, the football rolls
his way. His anger kicks it hard
and scores. Boys pass the ball to him.
He scores. None celebrate. He rules.
Girls smother smiles. He kicks the ball.
And scores. His mum smiles down at him
his new mums say. He kicks the ball.
He stands with playground blues. His space.
Peter Wakes Up in the Middle of the Night
She slips through a gap,
her tiny grip seeks
wonky teeth. Gently, at first,
she tests and tugs,
but no root lets loose.
No sixpence yet.
He is learning the value of pain.
Nettled, I walk and breathe the rot,
my winter air, that seedless tune.
Our local path cannot unclot
my rooted gloom. So I assume.
I am outfoxed by simple snowdrops
under the oaks. I hear their clock,
the needling seeding of new crops.
Like happiness insists. Unlocks.
My day began with your burnt toast.
I linger by the kissing gate,
hear strife, our scripted fate. Let trust
unwind that clock, it's getting late.
Phil Wood was born and lives in Wales. He studied English Literature at Aberystwyth University. He has worked in statistics, education, shipping, and a biscuit factory. He enjoys watercolour painting, bird watching, and chess. His writing can be found in various publications, including: The Ink Pantry, Fevers of the Mind, Autumn Sky Daily, London Grip.