A poem by Lorraine Carey
The Willow Pattern
Pulled out from the wall
the wearied supports protested
for felt pads, to muffle the screech
on the checkerboard floor.
Gran shook the tablecloth,
it floated down in a picnic blanket trance.
We squirmed on hard chairs,
as the laughter of our friends
sneaked in with the salty air
through the sash window.
Granddad rose, a Neptune of the village
sectioned the salmon,
slid it onto oriental plates.
I whispered, asked Mum
to tell me again, of the doomed pair.
She regaled the tale,
her impatience in hushed tones,
rushed as she piled potato salad
onto her plate. I glared at my offering,
pushed it to the rim, traced the pattern,
until a deafening maternal look
downed my fork.
The tiered flesh melted on my tongue
like a haunting, pearlescent scales
adhered to memories
and clung to the sides
of the Belfast sink.
Previously published in The Blue Nib Dec 2017. Ed - Shirley Bell
Poet / artist Lorraine Carey’s work has featured in Prole, Poetry Ireland Review, Orbis, Epoque Press, The Honest Ulsterman, Abridged, Smithereens, Constellate, Poetry Breakfast, Atrium, Poethead, Laldy, The Lake, The Ogham Stone and Picaroon among others.
A Pushcart Prize nominee, she was a runner up in both the Trocaire / Poetry Ireland and The Blue Nib Chapbook Competitions 2017. She was the featured artist in Skylight 47- Issue 11 and North West Words - Issue 9. A contributor to several anthologies, her poems have appeared on national and local radio. Her debut collection is From Doll House Windows (Revival)