Judith Wozniak

Photo by Seán Kiely


Red In The Morning

I had my outing that day after all.

The morning sky streaked red.

We’ll see my mother warned.


My scarlet ‘Jumping Jodies’ 

stayed in their box. Daisy patterned,

soles as pale as sponge cake.


Later when I toppled from my bike

the rusty brake bit into my knee.

Crimson trickled into my socks.


My mother fetched Uncle Arthur

from next door. He wrapped the gash

in his clean hanky, like a cowboy scarf.


His wife brought me pomegranate cut

into smiles. Bent back the half moons

released tiny ruby seeds in my mouth.


The kids crowded round me squealing.

One girl gave me the scarlet smartie

she was saving for later for lipstick.


They slid me along the slippery seat

of his car. It smelt like my new shoes.

My mother brushed back my hair.


After the stitches he carries me out,

cradles my head under his prickly chin.

I pretend he is my father.



Judith Wozniak is a retired GP lining in Hampshire. She is currently a student on the MA course at the Poetry School.




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