not a girl, not yet a woman

She was a baby just a breath ago,

Toddling, laughing as the vicar splashed

The holy water on her golden face.

And now she is a woman with a view

Upon the world and life the way

The writers told us it should be.

Fitzgerald and Jack Kerouac

Are men who make her pulse race fast

And wish to be another year

Into life so she can take to road trips

All across the dusty tracks that zig zag nations

Calling out with men, exotic in their lives

And wanting her to fall in arms

That soon will turn and make her weep,

But isn’t that what girls will need

To grow into a knowing woman

Ready to go out and roar?

I sat in a lesson today and I clocked a girl in the back row called Lily. I don’t know what made me double take apart from the fact that she looked the spitting image of her mother.

I was at the very same college I’m at a placement in now, and it was at the same time her mother was there. She was beautiful and cool and dating the coolest guy on campus. However, she was like me and was hating her time there. She left and got pregnant shortly afterwards. And she had a girl called Lily.

I dropped out and then got pregnant the year after she did and we became friends during that year. I was heavily pregnant when I was invited to Lily’s christening and I attended her second birthday.

I’m a crappy introvert who loses touch with everyone because I don’t like phones or coffee dates, so I lost touch with Lily’s mother. It was only when I saw this girl behind me, aged about sixteen, that I remembered that friendship.

Lily is a beautiful woman now and she was analysing The Great Gatsby like a boss. This didn’t make it any easier to match her up with the toddler that I remembered and it just reminded me how much our children grow and how quickly it happens. It’s made even more interesting by the fact that these kids are on the cusp of adulthood. They have fully formed opinions and soon they will spread their wings and fly. Soon they will experience all those highs and lows that make life so much like a novel.

Much Love

Rachel xx

what i would have in my rider

arched construction of contemporary stadium on sunny day
Photo by Aleks Marinkovic on Pexels.com

I’m not a pop star and I cannot sing or dance

And yet I’ll often wonder what I would have

In my rider for dressing rooms on tour.

I’d have flowers that are yellow, and candles

That smell strongly of sandalwood.

I’d have big bowls of Reese’s and cold cherry coke

And I’d order in pizza that I’d eat with my dancers

When we roll off the stage looking sweaty and tired.

We’d crush into rooms in cities with no names,

Laughing at signs that we’d read in the crowd

While buzzing with nerves that twang with the tension,

The crowds drifting out to beds that are warm,

Ears still ringing for days at a time

And we’ll move on to another arena, a cathedral

To pop music prayed to by the masses

And paying for my flowers and sandalwood candles.

a folder full of hate

Papers fall like acid rain

From that faded pink and dog eared folder

That was pushed into the darkest corners of

My wardrobe and my mind.

But now I’ve peeled it open once again

I feel that burning of the skin

That so consumed me for so many years.

It must be thrown, or burnt

In any way to stop those acid tears.

Another episode in the house clearing saga and this time I got a folder that contained all the paperwork from my divorce that happened when I was just twenty.

I was going through another of the bags and I found this pink cardboard folder that was stuffed with letters and printed emails and phone numbers and documents that formed every last part of that painful few years of my early adult life. I loved him so hard and he moved onto someone else and that was a hard lesson to learn and to live through at such a young age.

Now, I have him as a friend on Facebook and I can message him and have no bad feelings. The advice that time heals felt ridiculous at the time, but it really does.

However, I had to shut that file really quickly. As soon as I got sucked back into that time, fifteen years ago, I opened up some wounds that I didn’t realise were still there. But they must be there, somewhere deep below the surface.

That folder is going straight into the shredder. That is where it belongs. I am quite happy where I am and I don’t need to look at those things that caused me pain. If anything, this could be a positive part of the house being sold: the clearing out is like a cleansing of the soul.

I’m kind of looking forward to lighting a fire and having a ceremonial burning, and at the other end I will come out as a stronger woman, just like Britney said all those years ago.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the 90’s girls

person holding blue and silver vintage camera
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

We clung together in our groups of fours and fives,

And spritzed ourselves in Spice World spray

That hung in clouds above our hair

Brushed through and through with coloured wands,

The bane of mothers’ lives, as they washed it out

Of pillowcases, still the pink of little girls.

We’d laugh between ourselves, over copies of our magazines

With names like Mizz and Bliss and pictures of our stars,

The Britneys and the Backstreet Boys that filled filled our lives

As we lolled on sofas made of PVC, squeaky and inflatable.

I miss those days of blissful youth when teenage love

And hate and drama filled the air,

I miss those days of Dawson’s Creek and weddings Greek

And big and fat and spots and creams,

I miss those days of teenage dreams…..

Hit Me Baby One More Time

I must confess, that my loneliness

Was the reason that I

Didn’t do what I should.

I was pining for love,

No matter the cost.

The fist that came flying

And chipped at the bone,

The vase that came soaring,

Splinters so sharp and so bright

Raining down fiercely

Upon my hunched shoulders.

They all made me cower,

But still I demanded that baby I want you

To hit me one more time.

There comes a point, though,

When enough is enough.

No more of that now,

I’m stronger than that.

No more glass fragments adorning my hair,

Just diamonds and flowers

And a safe place to land

While I heal my clipped wings

And a heart that’s been hurt.

I’ve never been in a physically abusive relationship but I feel so strongly about giving women a safe place to go when they find themselves in these really dangerous situations.

Domestic violence is not acceptable and I hate it when I watch the news and see that a woman has been killed by her partner. What makes me particularly angry is the fact that in many of these cases the police have been called by the victim before. We need to start taking this a bit more seriously.

Of course, there are times when it’s not the woman that is getting hurt and I would like to acknowledge the fact that men can be the victim of domestic abuse too. Sometimes it can be worse in this situation because men feel embarrassed about speaking out. This is something else that really needs to be addressed in this day and age.

If you are in this horrible situation, I can’t stress enough how important it is to get out before something tragic happens. There are charities that can help you and safe places to go. I know that escaping an abusive partner is terrifying but it’s a step that you need and deserve to take.

Much Love

Rachel xx