‘Robbie-Alan’ by Alan Parry

Originally published in https://www.peachvelvetmag.com/spring-19

In the lounge, positioned under the upright piano

is a regimented row of his shined leather boots,

and he keeps his old accordion in a box, snug

between the spindly legs of the telephone table

in the bay window. Arranged on the pelmet is

a collection of novelty pencil sharpeners bought

in National Trust gift shops and their empty

boxes live in the pantry under the stairs

alongside jars and jars of homemade marmalade.

On the inside of that cupboard door, over the years

he has recorded the heights of his grandchildren

with blue biro etchings. But his most treasured

items must be the letters and sketches he posted

home when he was evacuated to Bangor during the war,

and he keeps them safe in a locked suitcase with

an ARP helmet and a Mickey Mouse gas mask.

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‘Remorse’ by Alan Parry

Originally published https://visualverse.org/submissions/remorse/

From my chair in the lounge
I have hurled vicious insults
at you. I have left you humiliated
with a stream of astringent tears 
coursing down your cheeks. I 
have shamelessly stormed out
knowing I cannot pick those
words off the floor nor stuff them 
back down my throat. So I have run 
without thinking, towards the train 
tracks, in the hope of finding direction. 
And you have worried, forgiven 
and loved more than I feel I deserve.

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‘Cheated’ by Alan Parry

Originally published in themarkliteraryreview.com

I don’t recall her name, and I’m too afraid

to ask, but still I can see her smeared

eye-liner, those torn fishnet stockings and

that spiky blonde mane as if she stands

before me now. The image of her smashing

her fists clad in fingerless gloves against our

front door will never fade. Her anguished

adult accusations, my old man’s shouting

and my mother’s sobbing on the stairs, me

sitting in the window of the front bedroom

over the porch, it’s all there. A tragic

tableau, my earliest memory.

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