Almanac

By Alice Hiller

that April when I first
refused her I shut
my mouth
to mashed potatoes

we went in June
to France for half-term
at her insistence I
ate pintade

like a raptor
she flew
at my first hairs
my new breasts

come August my skeleton
walked backwards
she watched me
from her deckchair

that September I spoke
with God directly
soon I’d step off the school
scales straight to heaven

the headmistress sent
me home in October
hospital pills melted
my mind like tallow

come November
I ate from plates
as big as straw hats
when Dr Daly said

‘Alice, you’re not your mother’
like fruit which the knife opens

it peeled off my old self

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Dear Black Child - Grace Storm Ad
Dear Black Child - Grace Storm Ad