With pies in hand, like payment,
he’d visit unannounced late autumn
as veils of fallen leaves left trees
stark; emaciated; but still standing.
Mum would pressure-cook some tatties
and we’d eat – plenty on the plates.
Air taut; with trauma contained that
I didn’t see with my little eyes.
Talk trivial; Donald strained and stained,
skin as yellow as artist’s ochre.
Later we women folk went up.
Then male monotonous murmur, like
a blanket of bees in summer
would rise, lulling me over while
they revealed, relived a past of
brutal beatings – torture for tracks.
No soft purr from the Burmese cat.
A slow release in whispers, of
things the psyche should not see.
A dram raised to clichéd comrades
left behind, ‘laid their lives on the line.’
And in the morning he’d be gone.
Safety valve released; and yet, festering
scars of burden would re-open, return.
So then would Donald, with more pies.
Copyright © Helen Jeffrey 2015
My name is Helen Jeffrey. I work in my own business in Ayrshire and write as a hobby.