Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Samantha's Cracked Skin

Watercolour

in the long, cold days before her father installed central heating
(thanks to a grant offered by the local council)
Samantha would spend December to February in her bed
wrapped in blankets with an extra eiderdown and chenille throw
and wearing a woolley hat (knitted by her Aunt Agatha) and socks on her hands,
staring out through windows encrusted with ice on the inside
at a world passing her by with nary a glance behind.

she ventured out once a day for a flask of tea and another of soup
and once a week to visit the library to replenish her dwindling supply
of adventure novels and science fiction and tales of elves and goblins;
and once a month to visit the doctor
who would apply ointment and bandages to her cracked skin
and refuse to talk about the creatures that lived inside her
like fairies in a hollow earth
that only came out when she was alone.

13 comments:

Satia said...

I don't know which I love more but the watercolor just fascinates me.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Thank you Satia :)

aims said...

I was with you right up until the last. Then it's nothing but pure Ewwwwwww!

aims said...

(Lord I hope it's not snakes)

Leatherdykeuk said...

*laughs*

Sorry Aims!

sonia said...

reminds me of my mum's house and my childhood(minus the creatures). she never got central heating - she thought it was most wasteful to heat rooms you weren't using.

Leatherdykeuk said...

My parents couldn't afford it. We regularly chipped ice off the inside of the windows.

spacedlaw said...

Poor child.
I had ice growing inside my window in the winter, but nothing that bad and never such lack of love.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Nor I, thankfully.

BT said...

Lovely poem - until the end!! Did anyone have central heating then? We certainly didn't. The ice used to make wonderful patterns though!

Leatherdykeuk said...

Central or not -- most people had some sort of heating. We had none.

stephanie said...

Oh. That's so sad, the desolation I think more than the cold. Beautiful painting, too, Rachel.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Thanks Stephanie