058by Amber Sydney-Woollett

I wonder if you still sleep with three pillows
in the pitch black of the evening.
Even the gold outlining the door
if someone left the light on in the corridor
always used to upset you.

I wonder if you still drink
four cups of black coffee a day
and smoke exactly nine cigarettes.
Caffeine and tobacco
always were your
‘our Fathers’
and ‘hail Marys’

As with Hamlet,
there always was
method to your madness.

A sly smile smeared across your face
when you announced
I could not simply have
one black eye,
but had to have two.

I wonder if you found someone else
to lie for you.
I remember how you stood beside me
when I called in sick for you.

“This is his wife speaking, yes,
he’s too ill to come to the phone,
yes, I hope he’s well enough
to come into work

I wonder if I am glad
I never married you,
that I was always your “wife”
and never your wife.

A lover.

I swelled with your child, you know,
I never told you at the time.
I drank a bottle of turpentine
and flushed him out of me.

It was a boy.

I wonder if he would have grown up
to be just like you.

Fragmented and fragile.
But beautiful too.

Amber Sidney-Woollett is sixteen years old. She has been writing fragments on scraps of paper and building these metaphors into poems throughout her life. Her poetry has been published by Inky Needles, the Misty Review and the Birds We Piled Loosely. Her work most recently appeared in a teenage anthology: The Poet Within. She was shortlisted to be a young Barbican poet and highly commended for her short story in the Wimbledon Bookfest. She is currently working as a prose reader for the literary magazine, Persephone’s daughters, which strives to inspire female empowerment. She hopes to be a writer one day but for now she’ll settle somewhere in-between high school student and aspiring poet—the latter of these two occupations being the one which gives her the greatest pleasure.