From Sweet Banana Wax Peppers by Jenny Powell-Chalmers

My son, flying

He flies at hand-height
above the carpet, moves
efficiently from room to room
and tells us 'this way
it saves buying shoes.'

Occasionally, he can't
control it and flies close
to the ceiling. The view though
makes it easier for him
to find lost lego and felt pens
and small cars.

He only complains when he flies
high and flips over, to hang
upside down like a human
bat. It gives him a headache
so we climb on chairs and pull
him back down
to the floor.


I lie on the bed with my head turned
to the wall and my body flushed
with light. My breasts hang
and rest by my arms. He will paint
them like this. He will leave
their shapelessness on the paper
and everyone will know the size
of my nipples,
the protusion of my hips
and the colour of my pubic hair.
'It doesn't matter,' he says,
'your head is turned
they don't know who you are.'

My thighs - just starting to dimple
- spread on the blanket and my ankles
cross over. I worry about pins and needles;
that I'll have to shift. I try
not to think of it, I try
not to feel his eyes searching
my nakedness.

©Jenny Powell-Chalmers