But my hair is OK – With Real Toads


Whose idea was it

– please enlighten me –

back in the eighties

to instal changing rooms in clothes shops

with no privacy?

Mirrors were no friend of mine at home

let alone when in the company of svelte girls.

Harsh-lit under lighting

guaranteed to magnify my cellulite

and glint on the mouthful of metal

glued to my teeth by a dentist with no pity for

teenage sensitivity.

I was encircled by girls –

with perfect hair

with perfect bodies

with perfect teeth

with perfect make up.

Whose idea was it, I ask you?

It was the school changing rooms all over again

and the dash through the communal showers

as fast as I could without slipping over on those

god-awful brown and yellow tiles.


I still hate shopping for clothes –

thighs too robust to fit in jeans

knees too chunky for on-the-knee skirts

biceps too muscly for long sleeved shirts.


I like my hair though.

It’s too wild and woolly for fashion these days.

But about that one thing, I don’t care.


Over at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Magaly is hosting and asks us to write about one of three bees – the Queen Bee, the bee that works the hardest or the bee that doesn’t fit in. Of course I chose the latter. I don’t feel that I’ve ever fitted in anywhere really (although the writing and art community seems to be suiting me rather well these days!). That not fitting in thing was certainly a theme of my growing up…

Please head on over to The Garden, have a good read and if you feel inspired, join in!

Cicatrix – Sunday Mini Challenge – Real Toads


The image of you has softened over time
I see you, prostrate, as if through film star soft-focus
Still, at last, still, forever
and yet if I push myself through that ghost-laden portal
I know that you have taken on a different form
you are transformed into no more than


Dispersed on the winds
I breathe you in
You become part of me in more than the accepted ways, Dad
Your death doesn’t hurt in the way it once did
No longer lacerates, no longer eviscerates


But I am left behind
But I am in sorrow for the missed opportunities
But I am swallowed by regret that I
can never have that conversation
Never explain that I understand you better

Never confess that I judged you too harshly

Never reveal that there is so much more of you in me

than I ever cared to admit or wanted then

Never tell you that I welcome that


But, at least, the knife-edge cicatrix
of the loss of you has faded
I can smile at the thought of you
because I think of you



This was inspired by the prompt found over at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, where we are encouraged to write about something that is both harrowing, and hallowed. A challenging prompt, for sure, but it helps to write about these things, to transfer the ever-whirling thoughts to print, at least for a while.

Why not pop on over to the Real Toads blog, and take a look, take part?