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  • Bridget Walsh

The First Thirty

(After ‘Piggotts’ by Martin Figura


Aged seven, walking down the road to school. Late home when hiding from the Caretaker.

Swimming at the baths. Holidaying in Skegness then home to bed with tonsillitis, swallowing razor blades.

Then bleeding, then pass the eleven-plus, then smoking butts of old fags.

Then first job, pinning tickets on sweaty suits in the dry cleaners, but the elevenses, apple-turnovers so sweet on the tongue.

Then nursing, finding dead old women on night-shift who’d just stopped breathing.

Then travelling on an overnight train to Roma, per imparare Italiano.

Then falling in love. Later burying my mother; holding her hand as the breath left her. My sister held her other hand. She didn't die alone.

Then death edged closer, always close at a birth.

Then darkness.


I read Piggotts by Martin Figura and tried something similar. Using action verbs to tell a story. It's a clever idea. Thank you Martin!

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