Susan Darlington

Susan Darlington’s poetry regularly explores the female experience through nature-based symbolism and stories of transformation. It has been published in Fragmented Voices, Algebra Of Owls, Dreams Walking, and Anti-Heroin Chic among others. Her debut collection, ‘Under The Devil’s Moon’, was published by Penniless Press Publications (2015). Follow her @S_sanDarlington    


  Dressed in orange and brown,
 we hid in autumn woods
 and were never seen again.
 We called out to our parents
 when they beat the path for clues
 but our voices went unheard.
 Now we run and shake trees
 until leaves tumble with laughter,
 skip with the dying rays of sun. 


 I wasn’t sure 
 when he told me
 over first date dinner
 that he wanted a family,
 spooning cherry ice-cream 
 from a bowl as he spoke.
 I still wasn’t sure
 when he showed me photos
 of his two nephews,
 all downy cheeks
 and whippet limbs,
 with almost fatherly pride.
 I wasn’t sure.
 But I let him walk me home.
 And when the condom split -
 lying on the bed
 with semen dribbling down
 the inside of my thighs
 while he pulled on his T-shirt
 and prepared to leave -
 I thought -
 but even then 
 I couldn’t be sure -
 I thought it was a sign
 that this was my last chance
 to have a child. 


 If the moss peeled itself off the stone wall -
 hundreds of eyelets unhooking from the surface -
 it would fall into a velvet evening dress
 that would swish past the beds of fern
 and the ivy cross-stitching twigs to birch trees.
 It would glide over the mud that runs smooth
 at the edge of the falls and pause to listen
 to the wind as it conducts the rustle of leaves
 and the brook’s crystal-cut spray; to watch 
 butterflies dance over blankets of wild garlic.
 It’s to the wearer of this dress
 that you offer a tarnished two-pence piece.
 Push it into a dry pocket in the wall
 until your index finger can go no further
 and promise that one day you’ll return. 

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