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Duality by Jen Feroze


Firing off a message to a friend –

‘I’ll have to call you back

once the kids are in bed’, I am again

staggered by adulthood, its certainty

sharp as a backhand to the cheek,

black as mortgage statement ink.

Lately the mirrors seem to ripple with history,

I see shades of myself as a child,

as my child, as my mother. I pluck silver

from my scalp with a magpie’s curiosity,

still occasionally clockwatch, waiting

for the professional grown-ups to arrive.

I’d like to try and stop the pendulum swing,

to swing instead for acceptance of age for what it is:

to be at once mother and child, the soil and the stardust,

the rush and the riverbed.

Jen Feroze lives by the sea in Essex with her husband and two small sleep thieves. Her work has recently appeared in a variety of publications including Atrium, Chestnut Review, Ink Sweat & Tears and The Madrigal. Her first collection, The Colour of Hope, was published in 2020. Find her on instagram @the_colourofhope and on twitter @jenlareine.


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