Hélène Demetriades

In my world

Let me slip past an old orchard,
past chalets which creak in the breeze,
skip down the hill to school

in a bright blue cardigan,
April unbuttoned, the snow quilt
thrown off,

there’s a rat corpse on the wall,
I catch my breath at the heave-sea
flesh, maggots devouring it to bone tracery.

I bob up beyond the cable car track,
past the dachshund behind the doctor’s
meshed gate, his bright square of lawn,

cross over the high street, and before
reaching school, rub shoulders with
the corner kiosk, its foil-wrapped têtes-choco.

At lunch, on the way home, I’ll buy one,
bite into the dark chocolate cranium,
tongue plunging into white sticky froth,

and at the dipped crossroads, my best friend and I,
we’ll sip from the fountain’s spout, sit on the lip
of the stone trough, dangling our legs in eternity,

eyeing the dark, set apart chalet abutting
the gush-rock stream – hearts skipping a beat –
because that’s where the witch lives.

Hélène’s debut collection ‘The Plumb Line’ will be published by Hedgehog Press in 2022.  She’s been in a variety of magazines including Envoi, Poetry Shed, Dream Catcher, Dreich, Snakeskin, Ink Sweat & Tears, Obsessed With Pipework and One Hand Clapping.  She was highly commended in the Poetry On The Lake competition 2021.