However Many Ways? By Ruth Nunn
Love? Truly love you? Do I love you?
Of course, of course! Yes of course I do!
How can you face me brazenly so?
Shameless you stare, and you tell me “No!”
“I do,” my heart within me implores,
My very essence in silence roars,
“Undoubtedly so!” my core insists,
And without one word, in anguish lists
A silent, painful, record of times
I’ve excused your childish, thoughtless crimes,
Or held you safely within my arms
Both from mortal and emotional harms.
How many times have I born your rants?
And how many times cleaned dirty pants?
Or how many times prepared your lunch,
Then sat there to sweet-talk, “Just one munch”?
When have I pleaded, “School soon. Hurry!”
And worked myself up to a flurry?
Or when repented to teachers who
Don’t understand the loss of your shoe?
Many a time in the depths of night,
I’ve snuggled amongst my blankets tight,
Abruptly woke to your frightened scream.
“Mum, there’s a noise!”, “a spider” or “dream”.
Tired still, I’ve lifted my head,
And swung weary legs round out of bed.
I’ve run to your room, exhausted, worn,
Allaying fears well into the morn.
Shopping, once, on a regular trip,
I carried you round, sat on my hip,
Only one hand to push the trolley,
Juggle with tins, nappies and brolly
Then “Mum,” you told me, “I’m feeling ill.”
Nauseous groans as your gob did fill
And repugnant puke whelched in a tide
All of the way down my left hand side.
“A story Mum,” you’ve so often pled.
How many books have I bought and read?
How many times have I funded your play?
How many cakes have I made for your day?
Yet still you claim that I love you not.
“My friends,” you tell me, “have such a lot.”
“I want what they’ve got,” I hear you cry.
“Why can’t I have it? I want it. Why?”
I listen, allay my inner pain
When I’m sure you’ll need me soon again,
When your knee bleeds, or you simply tire,
Arms held towards me once more require
Caring hugs from this loving mother,
My cuddles, comforts, like no other.
You’ll look towards me, wordlessly say,
“Thanks” in that simple, juvenile way.
A Ripple? by Magz Makiolla
The light from the landing, cast shadows along the wall, which danced eerily in the headlights of every passing car. He lay with his head gently cradled in the soft pillows, duvet pulled up to his chin, fear holding him rigid.
He cursed his decision to dawdle with his supper, had it not been for him wanting to stay up, he would not now find himself in this situation. Swallowing hard he pulled the duvet up over his head, but in doing so the bed started to rock and roll, as a ship on the high seas.
Swiftly pulling back the duvet, the motion stopped, but the shadows still played, dancing and chasing almost taunting him. Sitting up he looked over the side of the bed. Gingerly he touched his tip-toe onto the dark carpet. His big toe disappeared through its surface, swirls rippled from his toe. Another car passed its light reflected off the waters swirling surface. A shadow circled his foot from deep down in the depths. Pulling his foot back hastily, he shuddered with fear.
He peered hesitantly over the beds edge again, staring down at the unassuming blue carpet, no longer seeing the circling shadow deep in the rippling depths, but knowing that any attempt to step on that carpet and water would return, swirling and whirling, pulling him down into the waiting jaws.
The late film his mum had been watching hadn’t seemed that scary at the time and dawdling with his super had seemed like at good idea; he didn’t want to miss anything. Everyone else was still awake watching, he too had wanted to the end. After all he was nearly ten now and a film about a shark had seem cool to him. But now alone in his room, in the dark with scary pictures running through his mind about sharks circling his bed, just waiting to attack, he was wishing now that he had just given to sleep and gone to bed.
If he could get to the light switch he was sure that the monster lurking in the shadowy depths would disappear. But how could he get there safely, it was at least twelve steps to the light switch. He knew if he wanted to escape the monster he had to face his fears; he had to get up and get to that switch, putting the light on would end his torment.
Sitting up and edging the side on his bed he glanced down, he saw his blue carpet in the passing headlights. Wishing that the carpet would stay as he placed his feet down on it, but feeling the icy water encircling his feet as they came down where the carpet had been just seconds before.
He pulled his feet back sharply, panic racing through his mind; he would be struck with the monster all night if he couldn’t get to the switch.
Suddenly it was like a light bulb going off in his head, he ripped the duvet and pillows from his bed and threw them on to the floor, then pushing his fear down deep inside himself he eased on to his feet, feeling the bedding becoming soggy under his feet and fighting the urge to jump back to the safety of his bed, he pushed on water slowly starting to spill onto his feet, just a few more steps, then light would flood into the room.
It was coming; he could see its long dark shadow gliding towards him, its fin just starting to peak through the icy water, he was inches away his hand reached out for the switch, its open mouth, teeth showing was almost upon him.
Warm yellow light flooded into the room, the shadows on the walls disappeared, the pale blue carpet returned, his bedding was no longer wet. And the circling monster was no more.
The lights would stay on tonight.