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Instead let me tell you how to present
yourself at all times. With me? Yes. Embrace
your inner standing still. The shadows?
They’ll stare, they’ll stare. Sweetheart, clay-
eyes, you with the sootfall heart. Eat. More. Rocket.
Its tinselly fronds will nourish. Redemption
Is lying with her feet up in the next road, the moles,

pestering already. Our Lady of the Moles
kicks her flip-flops off and snored. I’ve been present
when she’s rattled walls. I was being embraced
by the tall fit guy-you’ve met- the one from Barking Shadows.
Go for it, you said, and approved of clay-
time when we moulded each other. Rockets
exploded all over our skies, no redemption.

When I was doing my course redemption. was always worth plagiarising from but the moles
are canny and have special software now which presents
problems. But cheating’s my sin, wtf. Embrace
what you’re best at. Remember when our shadows
got tangled and we got lost in the clay
forest. That was the best bit. It’s not rocket

science, is it, learning to unhate. Pocket rocket.
That’s me. And slurring it in the cocktail tent, Redemption
Song being mauled by a reggae cover band, my mole-
skin notebook poised. Words, present
yourselves (my drunk brain voice). Embraces,
biting your neck and the way everyone in Barking Shadows
was all of a sudden involved too, the marbly clay-

coloured cover of my notebook, oh clay-
eyes, how they matched, synchronicity, rockets
after midnight, falling sparks, redemptions’s
the best bit about pretend religion. Ask the moles.
Not that I’d go through with any of this, present
yourself how you like. All we can do is embrace
the kick off flip-flop spirit of our town, shadows

can gossip all they like, they’re only shadows.
In future, don’t give energy-saving lightbulbs as presents.
The moles aren’t keen. They prefer rockets,
the drama, the ooohs and aaahs, and dead sparks soften clay.
Let’s embrace anyway, clink our glasses: to redemption, to the moles.



Pam Thompson was one of the runner-ups in our 24/7 Poetry Challenge, part of this year’s CAMPUS Digital Open Day.


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Image Credits:

Image: Jar of moles

Image credit: Simon Bleasdale