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A Blessing of Frogs

Christine Laurenson


‘Come and see,’ my sister says, and leads
the hand-held walk, from yard to cellar door.
Green paint curls from wood in sharp petals,
the rusted latch too high for me but she can reach,
to clank and rattle. Hinges grumble, door swings
to stone steps and treacle-black.  

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Keywords (not used): 
childhood, sisters, nature, bullying

A Cautionary Tale


The cleaner at the Mondrian
does not get paid enough
to deal with it as best she can
when things get slightly rough.
She's going to have to burn those sheets
as they've seen better days
since you revolting, lousy cheats
found half a dozen ways
to violate this lovely space
with champagne, coke and sweat.
If there's a more revolting case
she hasn't found it yet.
There's something sticky on the floor,
she's hoping it's just lube,
and handprints on the bathroom door
and in the sink, some pubes.

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Keywords (not used): 
hotel, cleaner, secret

A Childhood Secret

Anne B. Murray

In my childhood, Sunday was a very special day. We went as a family to church – myself, my mother and father, and my sister who was five years older than me. Every second week, my mother would stay behind for the Women’s Group, and my sister and I would go home with my father.

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A Five-Year-Old's Secret

A Twenty-Five-Year-Old

It was October 1996 and a lovely fall day in Massachusetts, the trees had already turned to brilliant shades of orange and red, scattered across the ground in a mosaic of autumn colour. But all was not right in the world of a five-year-old me; in fact things had been anything but alright for the past two months.

Earlier that year, my parents decided that it would be best for me to attend a K-12 school, essentially a school that would take me up through until college. They hoped for continuity in my education. But this was far from what was going to happen for me.

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A Gentle Man

Elizabeth Copp

I found out about Poppy’s problem when we were sitting around the tea table. I was seventeen at the time, so it was a good thirteen years since my grandfather’s death. Why did I ask that question when I did? Had his name been mentioned? Had I picked up on a tension within my dad which, subconsciously, I wanted to investigate? It’s impossible to tell now, for nearly fifty years have passed since that conversation in our kitchen, when I was allowed to know the family secret.

“What did Poppy die from?” I asked my dad, in all innocence.

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A Gift of Knowing

Stephen Frame


I saw a naked woman when I was maybe eight or nine. Her nakedness was given, not taken by accident or with furtive intent, as it so often is.

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Keywords (not used): 
boyhood, teenage years, mischief, 1970's, Friends

A Happy Ending

Alexx MacMillan

I was a 15-year-old girl when I attempted to take my own life. Depressing opening line, I know. There’s a happy ending, I promise. I mean, if I’m writing this, the endings got to be happy, right?

This was the summary of my life, as I saw it then.

1.     I was overweight.

2.     I was unattractive (acne, braces, dark circles, etc).

3.     I was stupid.

4.     I was being bullied terribly at school.

5.     My brother was autistic and living with him could be hell.

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A healer’s rage

It’s a lie to state
I hold love for everything on my plate,
I hold space for everyone's heavy weights,
I have joy for every working date,
when facials and hot stones just pay a good rate. 

As master healer, I daily recite
phrases that sometimes resonate trite

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Keywords (not used): 
healing, confession

A Learning Curve

Tracey Gammond

My mum had a friend who had a daughter called Tonia. Occasionally we would all spend time together. Tonia was a year older than me and we went to different schools. When Tonia asked if I wanted to go to the pictures, I felt very honoured that she had asked me as she had loads of other friend she could have asked. We made the arrangement to go the following Saturday. This was a big deal as she was studying for A levels and didn’t have much spare time away from studying. She was so much more grown up that me. I guess I wanted to be like her. Which, looking back at what I did, made me like an

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Keywords (not used): 
confession, Friends, teenage years, growing up, guilt, cinema

A Little Knowledge is Dangerous

Roddie McKenzie

Looking back with the hindsight of forty-five years, I can see the comical nature of my hubris in that-almost-misadventure, more than the potentially lethal outcome. But the notion that as children, we think of ourselves as immortal, was almost tested to destruction on that summer's day.

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