Until All We Have is Her

Until all we have is her

Tried to take the girl
We’d already grieved for
From us.

Moved the Devil in
To her room, bones, face
Without permission.

Behind sunken eyes
Rage curdles sour
Kind words.

Hate and anger shrink
Limbs and tauten skin,
Stealing her.

I’m the one it hates.
I’m the one it knows
Will not allow

Its wasting to waste
What we have grown
With our love.

I’m the one who will
Spoon out the cruelty
Piece by piece

And lick clean silver
From the spoon.


The eggshells we walked on tore feet sharply-

We walked on them to reach you, despite that.

Like landmines I’d read about in school poems,

They exploded through us, without warning.

Words ricocheted: artillery fire- –

On skin thinned with each hostile conflict.

Shrapnel burrowed deep inside our chests, hearts.

Our only weapon love, tossed swiftly like

Fire grenades into dense fog between us.

Each of us desperate for your survival,

Hoping for safe passage or civil words.


In quiet moments of ceasefire, we would sit

And stare blankly at the gulf between us.

The Rainbow

Hope was a lilac mist

that appeared without warning.

It clung on fiercely

to the rainbow

you offered me

that morning.

Driving home in the rain

and sunshine

I felt things shift.

Looking up, it was

obvious to see it,

its thick lines of colour

etched so proudly

against the grey sky,

offering to lift us from

the winter depths

we had found ourselves

drenched in.

Like daffodils,

side by side with tulips

on a spring day,

you rose up.

So we know now

that where green shoots grow,

brave buds will follow

and before we know it,

a summer garden

full of crowded violets

will sing and hum with joy again.

Contributed by Fleur McCole