Monday, 13 July 2015

My Sherbet Lemon- shortlisted for the Woodseats Festival Writing Competition 2014

This weekend my local area celebrated ten years of our community celebration, The Woodseats Festival.  The week-long event offers activities aimed at all ages - culminating in festival day with a parade down the main road to Woodseats Primary school where there's a craft fair, stalls for local businesses/food vendors, a small fairground and a stage for dance/drama/music.

Last year I was shortlisted in both the poetry and short story categories of the writing competition (there wasn't one this year, as far as I'm aware), and was invited, along with the other shortlisted entrants, to read my writing at an event at Woodseats library.  I bought a new dress especially...

It was incredibly nerve-wracking to stand up and share my work, especially My Sherbet Lemon as it was a personal account of my miscarriage in April 2013.  By the time I reached the final poignant line, my eyes were prickling with tears, but somehow it was cathartic to say the words out loud in front of other people.  Miscarriage is still taboo, despite affecting so many.

I originally wrote the poem in September 2013 after a conversation with my then bereavement counsellor - it was during one of our sessions that I first used the sherbet lemon analogy - and the majority of it was written whilst on jury service, in the long waits to be called into court. 

The poem's been changed ever so slightly since those early days, but this is the finished version.  You are more than welcome to share this blog post, but please don't use the poem elsewhere, such as in print, or on your blog or website, without asking me first.

My Sherbet Lemon

You were my sherbet lemon.
A hidden surprise
in the paper bag of my body.

Sweet fizz-filled promise within
a sharp, solid shell,
an unexpected, yet pleasant surprise.

But your sunshine yellow never filled my days,
just your dull, dove-grey sac which haunts my nights.

A slit along one side.
A stab wound
rather than pinpricks at either end
released the zest, the life.
How quickly the sweetness had gone,
replaced by emptiness.


Yes, you were my sherbet lemon,
for all of eight weeks.

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