Tuesday, 9 January 2018


by Lee Nash

Was it one of those army guys
who hit a bullseye?
It had to happen to one of us.
A piece of string – how could we not notice
the firmness of your belly
pushing out your gymslip?

You carried our greatest fear
like a bulging file,
hid it under sloppy-joes.
Mother drove the huge Volvo,
slipped so far down behind the wheel,
you could hardly see her shame.

Miscalculation set you back
to second set in maths.
Paper circles fell like faux-
confetti where you’d punched a hole.
No morning-after pill.
New-build gated complexes sprang up.

No legal termination for your protea
bud; you came to term.
Hard koppie jutting from the velt.
Camel Lights, vodka and adoption papers.
At recess Daddy stalked the dorms,
hoping to find the Master.

* * * * *

"Lesson" was first published in Under the Radar, Issue 18, winter 2016 and appears in Ash Keys, Lee Nash's first collection from Flutter Press.

Lee Nash lives in France and freelances as an editor and proofreader. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in print and online journals including Acorn, Ambit, Angle, Antiphon, Magma, Mezzo Cammin, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, Presence, and The Heron's Nest. Her first poetry collection, Ash Keys, has just been released from Flutter Press. You can find a selection of Lee’s poems on her website: leenashpoetry.com.

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