by Scarlett Ward

and I show her the twisted trunk of wick I left burning over night
for the women who are being murdered.
My therapist asks me how my breathing exercises are going
and I open a window, draw a detailed diagram of a lamb’s lung,
break my pencil and hold it up to my webcam- the pencil, I mean.
(The drawing, I’ve already forgotten about.)
My therapist asks me whether I’ve stopped memorising the registration plates
of every van that drives past me
and I tell her the hair colour of all my neighbours,
the names of the news presenter that evening,
and the number of steps from my house to the park behind my house.
(It’s two hundred by the way.)
I’m good at counting steps,
it helps me measure exactly how much of myself to hate today,
yet, impressively, still maintain enough of that original instinct
drilled into us by whoever made us, to allow fear. Fear is allowed.
My therapist asks whether I’ve written in my mood journal.
(I haven’t.)
I ask her if she can bring people back from the dead,
(She can’t.)

Scarlett Ward

Scarlett Ward is a Midlands Poet and Workshop facilitator. Her debut collection “Ache” was published by Verve Poetry Press in 2019, and she facilitates creative writing workshops for Writing West Midlands and Homegrown 31. Her most recent work appears in Nine Arches’ ‘Under The Radar’ magazine, Ink, Sweat & Tears, and Poetry Of Place anthology by One World Books.

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