Small fingers held out this gift, one Christmas,
four decades ago. Studded, cloves poked
into an orange orb, circled purple ribbon
held by pins pricked through foil stars.
Light ball in my unwrinkled hand.
Since, knobbled knuckles packed you
and unpacked again. House after house,
placed on sill after sill, together with others
and later alone. Curled hedgehog
in my palm, you spike my epidermis,
acupressure my heart, dust away
long years. Missing cloves
leave holes to the core. You
say, when I wake, I am still here,
at night, I will watch, never fear.
Why did you remain?
Others soon got lost.
Old friend, scent
my cold hands,
Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and writes short stories and poetry. She has been published in web magazines and in print anthologies. She graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University in 2017.
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