Norma Tennis and
Helen Whittaker

Norma Tennis


Helen Whittaker
Inspiration piece

Stepping out of the shower
I catch a flash of turquoise
in the steamed-up mirror.

I wipe a clear patch.
The towel falls to the floor
like a cobra’s discarded skin.

Behind my back, unfolding stiffly,
a pair of blue-green wings –
more pterosaur than seraphim.

Damp fingers touch new skin
warm and soft
like the nape of a baby’s neck.

I should be flapping naked round the garden,
making the blackbirds
twitter in alarm.

I should be clambering up the drainpipe
and launching myself
off the chimneypot.

I should be soaring
over the sleepy red rooftops
of suburbia.

I’m sitting on the toilet
Wondering how the hell
I’m going to get my bra on.


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  1. Posted September 27, 2010 at 9:12 am | #

    Wow, this one has wings!

  2. Posted October 4, 2010 at 7:31 pm | #

    The words glint and shimmer and the art catches it and says, “This is what can happen when you snare glint and shimmer in your catcher!”

  3. Posted October 9, 2010 at 1:00 am | #

    Hey I just read it out to a friend in a crowded restaurant and stopped by mistake at “alarm”. My friend said I should suggest “alarm” might be a good stopping place.