This poem is taken from Stand 220, 16(4) November - December 2018.

Helen Kay Two Poems
1966 Red Geraniums

Her heart hit her ribs in front
of the toothy chimney pot
and its cough of red geraniums.

She feared her mum scolding
them because prize planters
should not be used as a wicket,

She feared her dragon of a brother
as he bowled grenades at her.
Being eight was her permanent fear.

She held the slender bat as a shield,
fending off fiery taunts about sisters
who insist on being merely girls.

It was that word girl that hit hardest.  
Her root fingers grew into the handle.
Set to protect the bloody geraniums
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