Never forgiven.

The rustling paper bag pulled me into reality, 

I imagined it was white and filled with sherbet pips 

or aniseed balls or 

strawberry bon bons the sweet flavoured powder coating your fingers.

I wondered where you had stashed them as the seconds continued to move.

The paper bag continued to rustle a constant noise that scraped along the inside of my soul. 

Hand in, hand out, hand in, hand out, hand in…

then I heard you wretch. 

Racing heart, a scream caught in my throat. 
We are in your living room. 

You are screaming at me. 

I didn’t even know that 

I knew your address. 

I didn’t know I could cry like this. 

You begged me. 

When he asked or maybe it was a she, 

it was on the tip of my tongue.

You begged me, 

all I could see was you, 

all I could hear was you, 

all I could feel was you

 and you begged me.

And the room filled with silence

the phone on my shoulder, 

I am thrown through the 

transition from child to adult. 

My heart broke and my soul 

was ripped from my body. 

An eternity passed, 

the drumming in my chest 

created a vortex of black time, 

sucking me in. 

You begged. 

I whispered, broken. 

Your tears turned to anguish. 

You were gone, stolen from me. 

Your begs turned to promises of hatred. 

I’ll never forgive you, 

you screamed as I begged. 

As I begged to know how many. 

How many had you taken. 

I begged tears choking in my chest, 

fires burning in my throat. 

Let me die, you said.  

No, I replied selfishly, 

I can’t, 

my most selfish act to date. 

I’ll never forgive you, you spat back at me. 

And you never did. 

And I never did.
Karen Hayward ©2016

To the…

cropped-the-naze-040.jpg

To the seconds, the minutes, the hours and days

to the lands and the seas thousands of miles away.

To the promises told, to the promises broken

to the distant reasons left unspoken.

To the rush of emotions new and aligned

to the fantasy frozen deep in the mind.

To the hollow dreams empty and void

to  the moments gone that were enjoyed.

To the fixed and the broken,

to the sleeping and woken.

To the ones that regret,

to the ones that forget.

To the strong and the weak

to the originals…

to the freaks.

To the silence and moments that have gone and passed

to the knowledge it ended way too fast.

To friends,

to the end.

Karen Hayward ©2016 (Words and image)

 

Be the hint of a memory.

 

Be the,

hint of a kiss

on precious lips

that smile even

in the pouring rain.

 

Be the,

hint of a memory

in the sight of beauty

that shines even

in the pouring rain.

 

Be the,

scent of a night

filled with musk

and dying stars

in the pouring rain.

 

Be the,

sting of regret

in a captured thought

on a forgotten day

beneath the pouring rain.

 

Be the,

taste of a flutter

of a remembering heart

growing old in the days

in the pouring rain.

 

Karen Hayward ©2016

 

The long forgotten Sundays.

What ever happened to my day of rest?
Sweet tea brought in bed
and marmalade toast,
on that day of which we made the most.
Whatever happened?
What happened to the sweet smell of polish and soaking wet rag,
Homework lined perfectly ready to bag?
Where did it go?
Little house on the prairie
as you gave me wisdom meant to be scary,
The Walton’s and that space show,
Sunday was the day when I had no place to go.
Bubbling pans, dripping glass
I wanted those days to forever last.
The tiny kitchen and cord brown stools,
I used to tip back acting the fool.
You told me this and that
None of it true all of it fact.
Time stood still as we chatted away,
whatever happened to my Sundays?
Dinner at 2 pm on the dot not a minute late
and never a thing on the plate for me to hate.
Chicken, pots, veg and gravy
then the afternoon for us to be lazy.
We walked by the sea with sand in our shoes
Rain, clouds or beneath a sky of blue.
I ran, I climbed, I skipped I walked
as we did, me and you talked.
What ever happened to my day of rest,
the day when we would reconnect?

Cidar chasers and bong in hand.

Do you remember? I was ninteen you were twenty one. UCAS letter in hand,
I had the world at my feet.
Dole check in your pocket,
you were already beat.

Lost souls we met in the dark,
Cidar chasers bong in hand
Sexual energy flowed between,
Whilst I called all the ones
You walked the miles
To meet me beneath the sun.

Escape for you was futile,
Your kin my kin,
Deprivation their everyday,
So when it came that I should leave,
together we packed for an adventure,
You see.

UCAS letter in the bin along side my forgotten dreams,
Mystery became secrets are darkness fell,
My body became flesh disconnected from spirit.
My beauty lost, I could see no light,
As you ripped apart my fragile belief,
and stole away my strength to fight.

I worked, you slept, I cleaned, you searched,
Eyes wide open identity broken,
you sat on that couch and he uttered the words,
and I never understood, but for the thrills,
Dysmorphic belief,
the soft tender eyes captured in stills.

But to wander and wonder and despair at the love,
the anger that reigned
the lies that fell true,
you begged and plead
and you told me a lie,
I asked that you be the thing that I need.

I see you sometimes, you came back to this place.
You live a life of pretance where i’m the mistake.
I wonder still if strength found you at all,
did you admit to yourself,
or did you let yourself fall?

Karen Hayward ©2016.

I never used to iron.

Ironing. For years I refused to be a slave to the mould of hot steaming iron. I refused to smooth away the crinkles, press creases and stand in the ultimate housewife position. Legs spread, board out, piles upon piles of  stylistic statements before me, all of them requiring attention, all of them requiring me to become the atypical label. A housewife, a wife a mother, a female, a girl a lady. We iron.

We stand for hours, up the board, down the board, bored, bored, bored.  You were in or you out. I was out. I was the black death of womanhood my views contagious, my opinion death like. So I ironed less and welcomed my self induced plague. 

I iron. I became the label that society imposed on me. Sickened by my acceptance I remove my bra in protest.

Karen Hayward ©2015.

Flowers in the attic where do you hide!

The feeling creeps in slowly.
Panic, as I flip through once, twice, three times. I search the normal places, beside  the bed, the couch, at the top of the stairs, by the window in the kitchen next to the heater, the window that shows me the sun as he wakes and the moon as she wakes. It’s not there and not even the sparkling stars in the clear skies can make me feel better. I search inside bags and tucked beneath the mattress, I pull out the bed and feel my heart sink, my eyes prickle and for a moment I question my sanity. What if. What if I didn’t own that book, what if I just borrowed it, that would certainly make sense and suddenly it feels like my world is crashing, I just want to read the book, now, I search some more determined to be sure that the book is at least not here. Emptiness envelopes around me, darkness falls upon my heart, I feel a great void where a story should be, not any story and certainly not a recall from the many times I have read it before, a void created through the lack of pages to turn, the lack of worn out paper in my hands. The emptiness has become me.

Karen Hayward 2015. ©

The wee mountains forever as I cook.

Memories.

The whole flat smelt
of aged tannin and
a low whistle could
be heard at all times.
‘Tea?’
There was always time for tea, sarnies too.
You might call her a feeder, she wasn’t but some might call her that.
Food was a sign of respect, you went anywhere they offered you sweet tea
and food. I used a cooker
for the first time there
in that kitchen with
windows that looked
down the hill past the subways and out toward mountains, my Gran always laughed and said ‘Just a coupla wee hills.’ They were mountains to my young
eyes. She spoke constantly
in her rich Irish roots peppered with her Scottish life, if I concentrated hard enough my English mind understood
some of what she said.
Her voice was soft,
a whisper a beautiful
melody, she spoke as I grated potatoes, carrots and onion, her smile told me I was doing good. ‘Eggs, Gran and flour and water too.’ I was reading thr recipe from my mind and hoping I had remembered everything, we had cooked them a few weeks before in school.
She wears a house coat,
she has many, a blue one,
a pink one a brown one,
every morning she slips it over her clothes, I have never seen her clothes, I can only presume she wears them. She told me once, ‘wash your smalls in the sink every
night. That way you’ve always got clean.’ I asked what if you needed them…’she laughed ‘Go with out.’
A frying pan black as death and thick with grease
sizzles at my side.
‘Listen child.’
My Mum also says this phrase.
‘When you cook, you cook. Stay sharp keep thoughts out’
I didn’t listen, I burn most of what I cook because my thoughts make me
wander.  We sat at
the table, the small
window behind me
and the radiator to
my left, I feel warm
and safe. I don’t
recall what the
food tasted like,
just her smile as she devoured the plate.

Karen Hayward ©2015.

List ten things that make you really happy. 30 day writing challenge.

Ten whole things that make me happy…

  1. The sun really makes me happy. In fact absolutely any heat source makes me feel really happy. I am by my very nature a very cold blooded person and my temperature rarely passes Luke warm. So when the suns heat falls on my skin and I can feel it warming me up it feels amazing, it fills me with a new level of energy that seeps into my blood and makes me want to skip and dance and sing…until the clouds come back over and I am left feeling cold and thirsty for that heat again.
  2. The rain. I know this kind of conflicts with number one, but hey ho. I love the sound of rain tapping at the windows. I love the feel of rain falling down on my face. I love soft fine misty rain, I love hard pounding rain. I love to jump hard into puddles and watch as the water flies out in all directions. I love the sound of cars as they drive along rain drenched roads. I love the way drops fall down and form into puddles. I love the sound as it drips down guttering. I love the way it sprinkles through the leaves. I love the way it leaves huge drops that run down the windows and huge drops that sit lovingly on the leaves. But best of all I like to get entirely soaked by the rain. I like for my clothes to cling to my rain drenched skin I like my hair to lay flat to my face…I like to go home, remove all of the cold wet clothes, run a steaming hot bubble bath and jump in with hot sweet tea to drink and whatever amazing book I am reading at the time. I like to feel the hot water warming my body as I can hear the rain drops tapping at the bathroom window.
  3. Good things happening to good people. No matter how big or how small I love to see good people have good things happen to them.
  4. The good morning salute from strangers in the street. There is something so amazingly magical about being out early in the morning and acknowledging those around you.
  5. Spaghetti Bolognaise covered in cheese and tomato sauce. This is my childhood favorite dinner and just the scent of this cooking is enough to send me back in time to those moments on a Saturday afternoon that I shared with my Dad, my friends, my brothers and my sisters.
  6. The early morning. Before the world has woken up I like to sit and listen to complete silence. I like to watch the sky as it travels through an array of colours before the sun stretches her arms p and reaches out. I like to watch the stars disappear from view knowing that actually they never leave us, we simply cannot see them.
  7. My cat Eddie, well all of my cats, but especially Eddie. Eddie (and his brother Emmet) was eleven days old when their mum got run over. I hand reared them and every day I didn’t believe they would survive and every day they got stronger. Eddie is now attached to my hip…or shoulder, or what ever body part he can perch himself on in an attempt to stay close to me at all times. He is a pest. He sleeps across my neck in the night and is often the cause of me being awake at stupid o’clock. But every time he nudges me for kisses, I know that he’s here because of the sacrifices I made. He is my little familiar.
  8. The moon. The moon is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen and each and every time I stop to look up at her my stomach does somersaults to see such beauty.
  9. Who I have become makes me really happy. I am not what I dreamed I would become and I am much stronger than I believed I could be and there are no words for the paths I have taken and memories I have left behind me. I love myself. The reflection of me in a mirror makes me extremely happy but more than that it makes me extremely proud.
  10. Number ten. I left the best till last. The number one thing that makes me really happy is my most amazing and beautiful daughter. She is the diamond in my world.

 

Karen Hayward (copyright) 2015.

Forgotten Birthday Wishes.

I know you don’t want me in your life no more,

I understand that.

I know you will never forgive that I made that call,

I understand that too.

I know I am a memory you wish to forget.

I understand it all.

I’m a past you want to believe never happened,

a mask you want the world to think never existed.

I understand it all.

But today I cannot help but think of you, when in years

gone past we have shared so much.

So many cakes. So many drinks. So many nights shared.

So many Birthday song requests.

So many laughs.

So many tears.

So I hope in long forgotten words

that your day was good

and all that you deserve.