Hide and Seek
It was a favourite game, we savoured all of the running from a younger brother
who would divide us like iron filings,
dancing at a magnet's touch.
I made the best choice, bedded down
in the dapple grey's stable. He was out
at pasture, grinding Timothy grass
and fresh Yorkshire Fog in greedy gulps.
I was like a miller's daughter, mired in gold
that I could not spin. I held my breath
and heard the skittering steps of choreography
between wood-mouse and marmalade cat.
In fairyland, time passes differently.
I let my reluctant eyelids drop and drifted
into dreams of high stacked beds,
sharp intrusions and royal revelations.
They never found my place, gave me up for lost,
went onto some other game in the near paddock,
where nettles gifted a giant puffball that was
big enough to jump on, taking turns.
I was woken at tea time by my friend's mother,
with squash, biscuits, the promise of hairbrush
and sellotape, to bring me back to reality.
It was only then I knew the game was over;
that I had won.
Alison Jones’ work has been widely published in journals such Poetry Ireland Review, Proletarian Poetry and The Interpreter’s House, The Green Parent Magazine and The Guardian. Her pamphlet, Heartwood, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2018 and her second pamphlet, Omega, came out in June 2020. She has a full collection forthcoming with Hedgehog Press.