Childhood and Susie Wrigley's Teeth


 Childhood and Susie Wrigley’s Teeth


The door.

a glamour. Sweet honeysuckle,

a snapdragon, orange-red, the colour of geraniums in Paris window boxes.

I sit Indian-style in the sunshine behind the church.

The caw of a crow. 

The Priest. Black. Gleaming.      

I hide beneath the willow tree,

summer, heavy, hot,

sunshine caught between branches dapples my arms, dark as the almond skin between Susie Wrigley’s teeth.               

If I close my eyes, I can see her.

Front centre. Arms aloft. Eyes shut, breasts pushed up. Out. Together (eyes down, Vicar) singing, swaying, clapping. Mouth like a donkey.                              

Tabitha Wrigley (short, dark-haired, plump lipped) throws another rock,

watches it bounce off the clear lavender sole of my jelly shoe, back into the dust.

Fish! Fish! Fish! Fish! She sings

turns the cartoon fish on my t-shirt into an insult.

I could kill you

I think

I could kill you

But I’m not going to…

I go, instead, with the thoughts.

Fists clenched. Breath held. Eyes Blind.

Thoughts, like friends, take my hands, guide - like a trailing of shapes, all sizes and colours, moving, moving, turning in on themselves and taking me backwards, for the first time, voluntarily, through the mirror of myself.


 Natascha Graham


I am a lesbian writer of stage, screen, fiction, poetry and non-fiction. My work has been previously selected by Cannes Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival and has been published in Acumen, Rattle, Litro, The Sheepshead Review, Every Day Fiction, Yahoo News and The Mighty to name but a few. 


  1. Ariel does not typically receive much "endearing" work. No slight on the editor who cannot control what is submitted. This material is fresh, thoughtful and innocent. Brilliant literary chops.

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