Poem for my big sister Jill


I wanted to give you a poem
eighty years back
when you were first-born
and armies were rising
and peace receding.
You learned about consultation
in the womb.

I wanted to give you a poem
to thank you
for protecting me
and holding my hand
and showing the way
and making peace
without any fights or feuds
or atom bombs.

The poem sat in my head for weeks
waiting for Mother’s attention.
On a short dark day
lop-sided day
turn-around day
a fence of shards and sand
and shrapnel sprang up
between the poem and me.

So I clambered over the fence
ripping my shorts
on splinters
lost a shoe
and clambered back to you
the almost perfect baby
to give you what you lacked
the one thing all big sisters need:

your very own big sister
just like Jill
to shelter and protect you
and hold your hand
and take the lead
on dark days
and on bright days too
the way big sisters do.

with love from Rachel 23 June 2016

Senior poems in an ebook


Do you get sick and tired of being drip-fed poems, one per day? Would you like to have a bunch on a single theme so you can pace yourself?

That’s easily fixed. Go straight to Amazon and get yourself all my Senior Poems in one ebook. You’ve read some of them here. You know they’re kind of fun and sometimes even wise. (Not sure how that happens, but the Muse works in mysterious ways.)

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You’re tired


You’re tired
(says Ruby)
so it’s good we’re playing

something entiring
and something
not entiring.

I tell you what to do:
make some dolls’ clothes.
That’s entiring.

And then I go home
and you have a wee rest
when I’m not here.


Rachel McAlpine

From a conversation with Ruby, aged 4