At nightfall, she lay down on the pier, her head on a carrier bag full of her last precious things: photos, letters.

Eyes closed, she listened to the sea wash the sand and shingle: whisper, rattle, whisper, rattle.

She waited for cold and hunger to take her, drifting into a sleep where the letters and photos seemed to be speaking to her, seemed to embrace her and then she realised that the voice and the touch were real and the voice was saying:

“We’ve found you! Wake up. Your family has been looking so long. They love you so much.”


Words and photograph copyright 2017 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

Thin Spiral Notebook: Hunger

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the barn,
The rafters were festooned with fine silken yarn.
The spiders had woven their intricate lace
And fireflies like fairy lights lit up the place.
Thus the barn looked so festive yet down in the hay
A girl dressed in nothing but rags and tears lay
Cast out in the cold with no friend to stand by
She wept without hope and waited to die.
Her warmth ebbed away as the source of her shame,
She clasped to her heart, a mere babe without name.
Her lover was false and her trust he’d betrayed
And her parents had spurned her, this poor desperate maid.
So in her last hours she’d trudged through the snow
And entered the barn with its welcoming glow.
And that’s where he found them, the farmer so old,
And carried them into the house from the cold.
And called to his wife to bring blankets and tea
And said, “Here’s the wonder we long wished to see,
“We yearned for a child as months turned into years
“Till time took our hope and wasted our tears
“And now in midwinter our dreams have come true
“Not one child we’re given, for here there are two!”


Words copyright 2016 by Paula Harmon. Picture copyright 2016 Michael Williams  All rights belong to the authors and material may not be copied without the authors’ express permission

I entered a competition to write a poem continuing the first line and this is the result. The prize was a poster made especially for the poem and “The Grubdale Chronicles” by Michael Williams). Much to my surprise, I won first prize !