Wendy J. Dunn – My father’s full stomach

Wendy J Dunn LEP&W V2 Dec 2022

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Two December 2022.

My father’s full stomach, poems by Wendy J Dunn.

My father’s full stomach

I’m a cockney
through and through
raised in the Isle of Dogs.

A dog’s life
I lived there, too.

I tell you true

never had
enough food

Swallowed by hunger
Heart and soul

Mam tried her best –
but what could she do?
We were dirt poor

I tell you true

M’mam feared the doctor
and his gladstone bag
with its promise
of yet another mouth to feed.

Heart and soul,
she feared my father
and the workhouse too

Heart and soul?
bloody hell
You don’t think of that
when you starve.
each bloody day

I tell you true
one day
a lorry drove
over m’little brother,
like a beetle underfoot.
I was six
I don’t remember
only a full stomach

I got his dinner
that night

Hunger had swallowed me
heart and soul.

Digging in the sand of memory

Digging in the sand of memory
Bubble and Jamie
Play on the beach
While Tim hunts
pirate’s treasure.

Clouds drift over a
Lowering sun
A chill wind blows
At day’s end

Bubble’s smile
Embraces me
with love
Tim brings me
A feather
And calls it treasure
Jamie dances
on the beach
My children safe and happy
My heart is full

These moments I remember

Seize the day

Nothing ever
Remains the same

© Wendy J Dunn

Wendy J. Dunn is an award-winning Australian author, playwright and poet. Her first Tudor novels were two Anne Boleyn novels: Dear Heart, How Like You This? and The Light in the Labyrinth. Wendy’s most recent publications are two novels inspired by the life of Katherine of Aragon: her Falling Pomegranate Seeds duology: The Duty of Daughters (a finalist in the 2020 Chaucer award) and All Manner of Things (2021), Silver Medallist in the 2021 international Readers’ Favorite Award for historical personage, Silver Medallist in The Coffee Pot Book Club Book of the Year Award (Tudor and Stuart category), a finalist in the 2022 Eric Hoffer Award and a first place win for Tudor fiction in the international 2021 Chaucer Award. Wendy tutors in writing at the Swinburne University of Technology. She’s currently writing a novel set in 2010. Of course, it includes a Tudor story. She is also writing her first full length Tudor biography, commissioned by Pen and Sword.

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