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Rebecca Gethin #antibullyingweek

Out of politeness

… he said it wasn’t something he’d had
to do before… something bad
in her blood, or the hands she’d
inherited that made the food she cooked

inedible. Nobody wanted to be
friends now that she wore long
sleeves. Not something she could
talk about. She’d cross the road. He followed

behind. She was possessed by someone
other than herself and so must be
disciplined. It was a refrain,
a baby left crying, an uncleaned

lavatory bowl. It was the pattering
of rats’ feet in the roof space,
or was it in the wall, or across
the floor? She shovelled the snow

while he watched telly programmes
for the messages he received. When
someone said it was time for him to move
on she begged him to stay, on

her knees, weeping till her hair was wet.
She was so daft she walked into a
door one night. When the baby
arrived, no one sent a card.

Rebecca Gethin won the Cinnamon Press Novel Writing Award with her first novel, which was published in 2011. Her first poetry collection, River is the Plural of Rain, was published by Oversteps Books in 2009. What the Horses Heard, A Handful of Water and Liar Dice are published by Cinnamon Press. Oracles, a poetry pamphlet to be published by Three Drops from a Cauldron in 2016. She has worked as a creative writing tutor in a prison and currently works as a freelance creative writing tutor and writer. Blog

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2 thoughts on “Rebecca Gethin #antibullyingweek”

  1. Wow, what a powerful poem, Becky. The repeated questioning in stanza 4 and the blunt hit of that final stanza. I’m very impressed.

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