Poetry Corner

Littlehampton

“Tiny silver fishes at our feet”
Illustration by Suzy Varty
We called you Auntie Anne in Worthing, 
2 hours away, by the sea.

I owe you a letter.
I have one of yours from 2014,
you’d been to The Nutcracker with the ladies from choir, 
had a Chinese, and were keeping busy

because you have to keep going don’t you Alexandra?

You’d say. Letters, about grandchildren –– 
Robert, Emily, Daisy, Tommy and Joseph. 
And always, an anecdote.

Like when Jane drove into a pothole 
on Christmas day and wound up
on a dark country lane replacing a tyre.

It could have been worse; 
I hear you say,
in your droll Scottish voice.

You and Lynn, in Rouen, 
at the wrong Grand Place
as your tour bus pulled away;

Uncle John, chasing you round 
the garden with a bucket of water 
when you set your nightie on fire.

Auntie Anne, I’m thinking of you 
making Bubble & Squeak,
and playing Hide-and-Seek with me and Christina.

And you know what, Auntie Anne,
it’s funny really isn’t it, the things that stick?

You and me in a dodgem car on Brighton pier.
You banged your knee. And the sea. 
At Littlehampton. So warm that day.
The tide, so far out. Tiny silver fishes at our feet.

Your girls have asked me to write a poem. 
But I don’t know where to begin.

Alexandra Corrin-Tachibana
first published by Buzzwords Poetry Competition 2020