Julie Mullen

Respite, Lake Como

We came here to the lake broken and bowed,
done with all our weeping, beyond words.
For us merely being was an unsolvable puzzle.
The house stood by the edge of the water,
a balcony over its stillness we sat down
silent, pulled the sounds of our personal hurt
from deep inside, moulded them into speech,
stretched segments of our lives between us,
threw them over the table like a cloth.
We let time pass and each morning
drank in the view till it filled us.
At evening we dined outside on the clean air
inhaled the turn in the dipping light,
allowed it to loosen our last strands.



At the other end of life
a newborn, torn from inside
where she grew so new
and unaware.

Small fingers like starfish
unfurl. A wispy curl
on her head, the red
raw wound of mother still open.

Craving comfort from a breast
she sips with puckered lips
her tongue hungry for taste
eyes wide for the first time.

The first draft of a person
her story still untold; every fold
of vellum skin so delicate, so thin
her mind still a white space.

Julie Mullen lives in Hertfordshire, England, she is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing with the Open University. She spent her working life in a library and now enjoys volunteering, singing and yoga. She writes mainly for pleasure on any subject but would love to get something published.