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Pratibha Castle: a poem


are tears

gilded with sunlight,

face-pucker odium

a child might feel

on witnessing

its parents kiss.

What I mean to say

is not just kiss. Caress.

Converse in rabbit's fur

conciliation with each other.

They were strict as stalactites,

tart as walnuts

pickled in brine, figures

encased in icy silence

at the outer limits

of a globe

they gave me

for my seventh

birthday on an outing

to Leigh-on-Sea.

A plastic micro-world

with snow, an igloo, Eskimos,

a huskydog drawn sled I

kept beside the bed

tipped upside down

each night

in hopes

this might dissolve

their arctic freeze and

should the figures come unstuck,

tumble on their plastic heads,

that this might shock

my parents back

to laughing, crying

so their frostbite-silence

no more seared

my ears, and lemons

might be squeezed

sanctified with honey brandy, shaken

stirred as lemon shandy.

Pratibha Castle, an Irish born poet, lives in West Sussex. Widely published in journals and anthologies including Agenda, International Times, IS&T, One Hand Clapping, Spelt, Tears In The Fence, London Grip, High Window and forthcoming in Stand, she has been longlisted and given special mention in numerous competitions including the Bridport Prize, Indigo Press and Welsh Poetry Competitions. Her debut pamphlet A Triptych of Birds & A Few Loose Feathers (Hedgehog Press 2022) is joined by Miniskirts in The Waste Land (Hedgehog Poetry Press 2023), a young woman’s search for meaning and identity in the Notting Hill and India of the swinging sixties.

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