Issue Three:

Alison Campbell

WINTER 2020/21

Poetry

Snow angel

                                             after Cheryle St Onge’s series of photographs.

 

Carole stands on the back step.  Already the sun is slanting

in the sky as she watches the figure on the snow photograph

 

the long blue pencil shadows of the aspens. She likes the sound

of the phone camera – the chuk-chiks crystal clear in the frozen air.

 

The shape spins around, rearranges itself into her daughter.

Mom! You’ve got that old 60s fur coat on, the one you found

 

at the flea market, remember? Wow, lookin’ good!

Carole smiles, holds thumbs up, blinks her eyes in the dazzle

 

of mid-afternoon.  She moves, unsteady

across the sloping field, now shawled in white.

 

In a flat soft space by the woods, she kneels slowly

into cat position, rocks sideways, falls, rolls onto her back, laughs.

 

Flakes settle on her glasses, nose, mouth. Her arms,

straight out from her body, begin to propel up and down

 

as if she is an engine, newly fired. They shift snow, leave arcs,          

the shush and the whoosh of it. Her daughter

 

chuk-chiks from different angles as she comes towards her.

Carole closes her eyes against the sun. Her arms beat                      

 

 

faster and faster, to lift her into the treetops.

I’ve got snow wings, snow wings, snowing.

 

 

 

 

 

*Using her phone, Cheryl St Onge took a series of portraits of her mother after she developed dementia.

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Alison Campbell, from Aberdeen, now living in London, has poems in Artemis, The Poetry Village, Dunlin press PORT anthology, Indigo Dreams, London Grip and Pennine Platform. She was shortlisted for Candlestick Press competition Getting Older, and was in the final thirteen for Paper Swans pamphlet competition, both 2020.