The Angel

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The Angel at the top of the tree

Fluttered its wings

Just once

At me.

A trick of the light –

My logical brain

Sought to explain

And yet, was I right?

It happened again.

Was I tired? Overwrought?

No, but I could not remain

Impassive to this white

Thing she had bought.

A wisp of cloth with wings of gauze

Had made me question all the laws

Of reason;

I did not expect

This startling effect

For £1.99

It opened my mind.

 

Claire-Louise Price

One minute’s silence

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Parents’ evening is in full swing.

The buzz of conversation

Echoes through the hall.

We make the rounds of teachers

Sitting at small tables

Discussing progress with attentive mums and dads.

Quick – the English teacher is free

We dart to her table

Increasingly concerned by the messages we’ve heard:

He needs to concentrate more in class,

Organise himself to get his coursework done.

It’s his GCSE year

Whatever are we going to do?

 

The teacher checks her register for latest marks.

Waiting, anticipating more bad news,

My dismayed gaze goes past her shoulder

To a bronze memorial on the wall

Dedicated to ex-pupils who died for their country

In both World Wars.

The list of names is shockingly long.

The teacher looks up into my eyes.

‘Yes,’ she says quietly,

Without turning round.

‘It’s awful, isn’t it?’

For a full minute

I am silent.

 

Claire-Louise Price

 

 

 

 

Olympic Opportunity

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I never even dreamed it
I never ever planned
To volunteer as a performer
For the best Games in the land.
By chance I found the website
Auditions sounded fun
I clicked and turned up on the date
And danced right through Round One.
The recall was much tougher
‘Your rhythm must not drop,
Keep smiling, you can do it
You will come out on top!’
I’d never danced in public
Was the wrong side of fifty
And found myself cast as a nurse
In the Opening Ceremony.
‘The Olympics were for everyone’
I can certainly agree
The Olympics were inclusive
Cos they included me.
Claire-Louise Price

The Olympian

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I met him at St Pancras

Straight off the train

How could I not?

‘At times like this

He needs me’

Or so I thought.

 

Olympic hopes dashed

By stronger players

He’d helped to recruit

Only to be outshone

Now dropped from the team

And sent home.

 

He strode along the platform

Towards the barrier

Months of training

Had honed his physique

But the kit bag he shouldered

Was heavy with disappointment.

 

We went for a coffee

And a sandwich

In a cafe

On the Euston Road.

I remarked on the weather

Unsure what to say.

 

‘I’m sorry.’

‘Don’t be, mum.

‘I tried, I simply wasn’t good enough.’

He sat up straight and smiled,

Put it all behind him,

And in that instant

Won Gold.

 

Claire-Louise Price

 

A French Country House

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A pinch of Gallic je ne sais quoi

A kilo of confidence, of scale and presence

A soupcon of tradition, of history, and stories to tell

A tinge of sadness for times past

A dollop of laughter, happy families and friends

A lingering aroma of continuity through generations

A long, lazy lunch on the terrace

While lizards flicker in the heat

And warmth exudes from mellow stone.