My Best Friend

by Kaartika Chitturi Always with me through thick and thin Never lets me down in the toughest situations Shares everything with me Sacrifices many to be a better friend for me She brought me into light and happiness Away from the darkness and loneliness She was the missing puzzle piece That made my life complete…

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The girl who never left

by Isla Polovina She’d always been by my side ever since I was young; to be quite honest, I couldn’t remember a life without her. She had followed me with hopeful eyes that shone with stars and timeless dreams. From what I do recall, she was smaller than me – not by much – but…

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A call to the register

by Jasmin Kaur “Your name?” Asks the shiny teacher Several heads turning my way   I pause-   My name is the cheering of children Who pilot the exotic kites In the sun-stained sky   My name is the toil of my grandparents Who farmed during the unforgiving seasons But now have reaped the reward…

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Blackbird

by Lucy Gardner We said we were friends forever. Forever to the blackbird is not forever to humans. We were eleven, starting school, rain peeling from the sky like the skin of water on the ground. Our feet splashed on the concrete, goose bumps on the stone. Plastic grass dripped like curls of bone and…

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Nan’s bread pudding recipe

by Zoe Ellsmore Up there, on the kitchen shelf, my nan’s bread pudding recipe is slipped between the pages of a hardback book. Five lines of alchemy, now faded, brings old bread back to life with milk, maraschino cherries and clouds of cinnamon. We pass it down, a christening gown, stained with sticky fingers, wrinkled…

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Bread Lady

by Caroline Ward Vine The flour slipped between Melody’s fingers, cool as powdered silk and familiar as an old friend, as she scooped a well at its centre. She stirred the jug of foaming yeast and water, stooping, as she’d done for fifty years or more, to breathe its seaweed scent before adding it to…

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r e g e n e r a t i o n

r e g e n e r a t i o n (an anagram poem) family histories hung in eerie hush as civic planners eager to retire assembled to engineer the swift demise of a once-proud region where nobody spent more than they could earn and sugar was still on ration while tin-bath broods scrubbed…

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Cherry Chocolates

by Alison Woodhouse ‘Has she filled in her meal options?’ My children are here. It’s a miracle, all three in the same room again, although they’re not children anymore; they’ve got kids of their own and grandkids. ‘There’s not much choice!’ No need for that tone Katy. It’s the NHS not one of your fancy…

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Saving face with Grandpa and not being huffed

by Roger Elkin I catch him hovering at our lounge doorway, face beaming though something behind his eyes suggests he’s not certain where he is, or whether he should be here, his mind silent-film-flicking for names, his lips teasing words around shapes in a hesitancy belying ninety years of his tackling things head on and…

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What’s in a name?

by Ann Abineri Claire pushed open the glass door and stepped into the foyer of Pinetrees, thinking again what a nice place her father had found to live. The receptionist looked up from her computer screen and smiled warmly. “Claire, fantastic news. Your father told us this morning.” “Now why doesn’t that surprise me!” said…

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