by day, the house is filled with warm light
by night
the dark seeps into every corner
the struggle to get warmer
blankets piled high, cooried in
not letting the cold win

as the wee one lies snug in her bed
not a thought in her head
of the hardships endured
or that fact that we’re poor

of the sacrifice made
so the bills are paid


wee me

when I was wee
I knew I could be
and everything.
I was just a small girl
but I could take on the world
and come out on top
nothing would stop
me from achieving my dreams
and elaborate schemes.

but, as I grew
somehow I knew
what I knew less
people would stress
the importance of reality
so they could limit me
and I let them do it
even though in the pit
of my stomach I felt
I had been dealt
an unfair hand
this was not what I planned.

I accepted my fate
it was too late
for me
to be what I wanted to be.

I didn’t know how
I had allowed
it to happen, but it had.
it wasn’t all bad
but it was bland
not the grand
spectacular life I had seen
in my little girl dreams.

they say this is called ‘growing up’
that I am ‘lucky’.
and I am, I agree,
but try telling wee me!


protest (or thoughts about TERFs at Pride)

“Pride is a protest”
is the reply
when we ask why
they brought hate
with them today

they say that they
want equal rights
that they’re willing to fight
for them
and we agree
that they should

but if they could
only see
that we’re all
on the same side
the divide
in the community
the disunity
does more harm than good
and they’ve misunderstood


safety is an illusion
I’m losing
sleep over it
watching the lit
touch paper burn
as my guts churn
with dread

I lie in my bed
nestled, warm
try to weather the storm
in my mind

desperate to find
that port
as I assemble a fort
around me
the debris
from the wreck of my defence
it makes no sense
to continue to try
and I don’t know why
I do
but I do


friend or foe?
it’s hard to know
these days
as that memory stays
with me
it won’t let me be

pushing me further away
from ever being okay

folded into a corner
I feel like a foreigner
in my own head

fear has led
me here
and though I try to steer
my way back
the fact
is, life is scary
and I’m right to be wary

trust should be earned
and I have learned
the hard way
that to expect foul play
isn’t the worst
thing I could do

an attempt to subdue
my racing thoughts
by joining the dots
to reveal the reluctant demon
eyes gleaming
in the fire light

even as I close mine
trying to find
that safe space
the place
I am told to go when
I’m gone again


I hear
it, and peer
over my beer.

I know she does too
as her fingers through
mine unlace,
her face
hard now.

I think of the vow
I made to her that night
eyes shining star-bright
to keep her safe, always
and I think of the ways
I have failed to do so.

and I know
I will try again
but when
holding hand is dangerous
can endanger us
which is just absurd
I can’t keep my word.

the bairn

the bairn birls
in the air
hersel’ doon the stair
heid first
wee chist fit tae burst.
she’s a wriggly worm on the rug,
confusing the hell oot the dug.
then, all of a sudden she stands,
claps her manky wee hands,
turns on the telly,
then runs fir her wellies.
oot the front door
in the jammies she wore
last night.
she’s as high as a kite,
skiddling in the dirt,
wiping hands on her shirt.
“I’m a wee beastie!” she cries
and yer heart fair flies.


suddenly, I see your face
and that’s a dangerous place
to be
for me.

it’s been years
since the tears
dripped from my chin.

I let you in,
and in doing that
I went into combat
with my mind
against the protection it had designed.

it took years to build
the wall, but I drilled
for you.

my heart, opening like a flower,
gave you the power,
trusting you to care
that you’d always be there.

but that’s not how it went
and I don’t resent
you, and I don’t love you,
but seeing you,
still hurts my chest
you were my best
except at the end.


I’m scared,
and I know that you care,
but at the end of the day,
no matter what you do or say
it’s me who fights
through the nights
spends days
waiting for it all to go away.

it won’t leave me alone
I feel it in my bones
hands on my neck
and I’m a wreck.

always on guard
by the horror of it all
and it would be easy to fall
for the lies my brain tells
to dwell
on the past
on the vast
difference between real life
and mine.