Thursday, 13 June 2019

WEP Challenge - CAGED BIRD June 2019

It's time to join in the WEP Challenge for June 2019. 
JOIN OUR PARTNERSHIP! WEP/IWSG!


To see the rules and guidelines please visit:
http://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com


Here is my entry: 

CAGED

Her mother looked after her father, she cleaned, did the laundry, did the cooking, did the dishes all without any help.  Hetty would rise early, rake out the embers from the bottom of the Rayburn*, relight the fire and get the water boiler ready for the day.  She would knead the dough for the bread placing it in the bottom oven to prove before baking it later in the day to ensure that there was fresh bread to go with Fred’s dinner in the evening when he came in from work.  Fred did the heavy work, digging the garden, fixing stuff in the house, he was quite the handyman.  She’d relegate him to the shed at Christmas to pluck the turkey, or to gut and skin rabbits so that she could make rabbit pies and Christmas dinners.  He drove her everywhere. 

She knew where the lines were.

He knew where the lines were.

Her daughters should have known where the lines were.


Eileen wasn't going to be like all those other wives, nope, not her.  Her husband would bow to her commands.  He would show her respect, love and admiration.  He would do his share in the house.  She would not expect him to cook, nope.  She would do all the cooking; she wouldn't trust his cooking anyway.  He could do the dishes, put the hoover round when he wasn’t working.  He should help her even when she told him there wasn't anything he could do.

Charles was a good earner, a man with prospects.  She would have a good life.  He provided all the nice things she wanted for the home and hearth.  He would buy her nice jewellery but she would choose it herself, he had no taste, it was much better if he was shown what she wanted.  Not like her engagement ring he sent to her in the post!  OK, so what that she’d chosen it from the catalogue, ringed it, dog-eared the page and left in his uniform pocket as he boarded the train to London before he travelled on to join his ship at Portsmouth. 

He should know what to do.

She knew what to do.

She taught him what to do.


Maggie wanted fun.  Ray was her husband, useless as an earner, always had an eye out for a bargain but didn’t give her enough money to feed them and their three kids.  Maggie worked part-time, field work, bar work, scrimped and made-do until one day, the fun had gone.  Life was a drudge.  She felt caged in until she escaped in to the arms of another.

He was the love of her life.

She was the love of his life.

They both found pastures new.


Now Eileen and Maggie’s daughters and sons lead different lives, some better, some still fighting for release.  All the offspring have different views on life and partners, husbands and wives.  Some tried the traditional route, felt trapped.  Some tried the hippy life, still trapped.  Some even tried same sex partners, caged in.

They were taught to be better.

They thought they had better.

Was it really better?

Who can tell? 

What will their children do with their lives, how will they live with others? 

Is everyone caged in some way or another?   

Will a second, third or any chances come their way?  Only time will tell.

Will we know all their secrets or are they caged in the hearts as well?

*similar to an Aga

A Victim No More

Too nice, she won’t mind

She’s always kind

Too laid back

What does she lack?

Manipulated by another

Abused by others

Too afraid to tell those who want to know

Hidden so deep

Too hard to keep

The tears come and the face dries

Nobody knows the pain inside

Kept inside the strong castle walls

What does she do when she falls?

She makes time for others

Listens to their troubles

Then it’s turned and doubled

In on her to spite her love

Nobody believes her when she says what she feels

Don’t be stupid they say

You are wrong they are right

So, she has another sleepless night

All she wants is to love and be loved

The tears flow when she is moved

Pushing out from the heart and caught

With no forethought

Tossed away like discarded paper

No use for the wrapper

Put the lid on it don’t let anybody see

The pain and love that is a divorcee

Deep, deep down

Unplumbed depths under the sea or space

A mind full of grace

Grinding out the race

Finding a way through the story

That she wrote before she was born

Making the mistakes, choosing free will

Living her life in a wonderland full of illusions

Trying to stop the agony, the pain, the hunger

Knowing she’s not getting any younger

Emerging through a rebirth of love

The second chance coming from above

She grabs it with both hands

And feels like she’s playing in a band

Joy and laughter, contentment and bliss

All sealed with her loving husband’s kiss.

She is a bird flying free

Landing on branches of every tree

No longer caged, restricted or barred

Her life is her own to share

With compassion and care

Kindness and respect, love and hope

Living a colourful life in a kaleidoscope

Of joy and release

Finding peace

No longer in a cage

It took her an age

Now she is free as a bird

Her voice is heard

Far and wide

Her tears have dried

Her heart is full


Word count: 929

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

WEP 28 DAYS - CHANGES



Here is my entry for WEP February 2019 challenge

28 DAYS

CHANGES
The couple sat in the lounge by the fireplace
Surrounded by wood panelling and heartache
Two souls not talking, no conversation
With each other for a long duration

The spell was broken as she turned her head
At the sound of the birds fighting over the bread
Burnt toast crumbs scattered over the lawn
Hetty broke the silence and said, look at those birds, Sean

The warmer weather is coming, there’ll be worms galore
Waiting for the hard-baked soil to warm up some more
Her husband tore his gaze away from the window
Looked at his wife’s face, her wrinkled brow

His gaze took in the years of love and happiness
Joy and comfort and of course some sadness.
They didn’t have long left in this place
Their home for many years, their base

For many long years their memories encased
In the fabric of the walls, cement, bricks and mortar
The fights of their two children, a son and a daughter

They’d turned the page of the calendar
Although the numbers were a blur
February had finally come
It was time to leave their home

The tears welled up in her eyes
Pupils dilated with her fears
A journey in to the unknown
A different part of town

New people to meet and greet
Independence slowly abating
The loss of dignity
Superseded by security
So said their family

With love in their hearts
They helped them depart
Their lovely home and abode
As the minutes sped and time slowed

Their lives past before their eyes
They gathered their supplies
Speeding up and slowing down
With a laugh or a frown
They were ready to say goodbye



Hetty marked off the last day of February on the calendar.  Twenty-eight days they had lived here now.  When would it feel like home?  Probably never she thought.  Her home was gone.  A lively, young and vibrant family of four had bought it and would make their own memories there. 


She could hear Sean moving around, he would be out of the bedroom soon, dressed in his shirt and tie, blazer ready over his arm.  Not for him the casual look of today nor her if she was honest.  She styled her hair every day, she wore clean clothes every day, used a pinafore to keep her clothes clean when she cooked.  She wasn't going to be a little old lady with grease spots and old food marks all down her front.

Sean settled himself in the armchair with the newspaper while Hetty scurried round in the kitchen readying the teapot and cups and saucers, checking the biscuit tin was full of Liz’s favourites.

Their granddaughter was a great comfort and support to them.  Always ready to take them to their appointments now they were no longer able to drive.  That was a big blow to their independence.  Hetty sighed deeply, life goes in cycles she thought and this was the start of the last cycle of their life. 

They were safe, secure in the knowledge that they had some independence but with help on hand if it was needed.   What more could she ask for?  Her youth back?  No point in looking back she chided herself, things weren't always rosy back in her younger days, two small children, none of the benefits of central heating.  Life wasn't hard just different from today’s conveniences.  They managed.  In some ways there was less stress, still stress but a different kind of stress.  

So now here they were still in love after 66 years although there were times when they weren't happy with each other – ha!  They worked through their differences and didn’t give up on each other.
Sean stood to open the door and greet Liz.  She was the apple of his eye, his one and only granddaughter, the one most like his beloved Hetty.  The generation gap seemed so small to him today as he saw hope and love and comfort in her eyes.

Settling down to their tea and biscuits Liz announced her good news. 

‘Ben and I are going to be parents which makes you great-grandparents.’  Beaming with delight Liz accepted the hugs and kisses from the two members of the older generation.

Such wonderful news to complete the first 28 days of this new phase of their lives.  Hetty was already planning many knitted outfits for this new life to come, neutral colours to begin with until Liz told them the sex of the baby.  No surprises or guesses what the baby would be for this young couple. 

‘This was the best move we could have made,’ muttered Sean in to Hetty’s grey hair.  She wrapped her arms around his thickening waist.  ‘We’ll make the best of it, you’ll see,’ came her response.

Word count: 796