Born from the belly of a Christmas cracker
Stomach ripped apart and I fireworked into her world
my birth announced by a muted crash and a sombre joke.
I remained a closed up tinted truth
lodged sub-sofa for
five dark and lights.
She found me, her warm hand
scooped me up and pocketed me
into a denim womb.
I listened to her family rows. I imagined her smiles and frowns.
I am reborn every time she opens me.
My outside imitates a scallop, black edges fanned in ridges fixed in opalescent black polyethylene.
Metal jaws hinge my edges. She opens me up.
Pries me apart.
Closes herself down.
As I force her to focus on her own face.
She showed me her first black eye.
Bloodied veins radiating from a crushed cornflower.
I told her the truth she didn’t want to hear.
He’s not going to stop now. This will be the first of many.
She snapped me shut and left me
for a while. It was easier than leaving him.
Her swollen face reduced to the size of a locket.
She wore the thought around her neck.
Every glimpse she offered me,
I photographed and filed.
The archive’s filling up
I’m feeling nostalgic
for unblemished, unbruised skin.
I’ve always done my duty, told her truths she couldn’t see.
She fabricates reality. I show a simple circle
of who she really isn’t
but also a glimpse
she really could be.
Annie Bennett sleeps and dreams and writes in the beautiful shire of Devon. She believes in giving voices to those who have theirs taken or have not discovered them yet; including her younger selves. She loves learning about the world and has the pleasure of teaching teenagers in the real world. She was delighted to be shortlisted for the Teignmouth Poetry prize where she found reading blinded by a spotlight surprisingly fun.
“This poem began a long time ago, but found its fullness during Jennie Osborne’s Poetry School course Tiny Timebombs. It has since been shortlisted for the 2017 Teignmouth Open Poetry Competition.”