Patricia M Osborne

Patricia M Osborne is married with grown-up children and grandchildren. She was born in Liverpool but now lives in West Sussex. In 2019 she graduated with an MA in Creative Writing (University of Brighton).

Patricia writes novels, poetry and short fiction, and has been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. She has two published novels, House of Grace and The Coal Miner’s Son and her debut poetry pamphlet ‘Taxus Baccata’ was published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press in July 2020.

She has a successful blog at Whitewings.com where she features other writers and poets. When Patricia isn’t working on her own writing, she enjoys sharing her knowledge, acting as a mentor to fellow writers and as an online poetry tutor with Writers’ Bureau.

First Day at Juniors

Behind the desk, legs tightly
crossed, I inch up my hand.
 
            ‘Please Miss,
                         may I be excused?’
 
The teacher slaps two thick rulers
onto the desk and beckons me near.
 
Head down
I slope to the front,
squeezing my thighs
to stop wee leaking
under my dress.
 
Miss Evans holds her stare… 
 
            I dart from the room.
 
Bladder relieved,
my tummy clenches,
legs wobble at the penalty
I now must face.
 
Head bent, standing in the corridor,
            my hand hovers over the door handle–
 
Miss Evans whips it open.
                                    She drags
 me back inside.                                              
           
I stretch out my arm–              fingers clenched.
 
                        She unfolds my hand.

Isolated

I’m the new kid, invisible
to the girls playing Two Balls
and long rope skipping
on the playground.
 
I wish I was back in Bolton sitting
close to my carrot-haired Susan. 
 
At break time we’d wait
by the locked gate
for Senior boys
to pass us pear drops
through the black railings.
 
The bell on the puce wall vibrates,
children crowd into the building,
laughing and chatting. I follow,
 
shuffle round,
back and forth, late
for class, past
identical staircases,
toilets, cloakrooms, coats,
blue doors, yellow walls–
 
I reach a Post Office-like window,
            peep through the grille,
 
holding back.
 
‘Please Miss, I’m lost.’

TV Wonder

Ice inside my bedroom window
vanished once central heating
shot the mercury sky-high.
 
Black and white televisions
with tiny screens projected
Dalek terror. We crept in twos
to the spooky backyard privy.
 
Curled up on the floor in pjs,
Mum brought us a cuppa
while we witnessed
 
Neil Armstrong bunny-hop
on the moon.
 
Transmission terminated,
buzzing drilled my consciousness.
 
We plugged in our first colour TV, switched
off the lights, rubbed hands, smiled–
 
watched with wonder,
hooked on Dallas and Dynasty.
 
A red telephone box at the corner of our street
left stranded – desecrated – vandalised–
 
replaced with a home phone
at the spin of a dial–
 
Mobiles to keep track of my young, angst
replaced ease when offspring ignored ringtones.
 
On the turn of the century, Big Ben chimed,
we linked arms to sing ‘Auld Lang Syne,’
 
chrysanthemums exploded in clouds
reflecting on The Thames,
London Eye illuminated spectrums of light
welcoming the arrival of the Millennium.

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