Milk bottle – Olga Dermott-Bond

Milk bottle

My mum is standing at the kitchen sink
pressing the silver coin down so carefully

with her left thumb, a dented heart that beats
two days, until it joins the pretend pennies

scattered on the window sill. Above me,
the fat-rimmed lip of the bottle; I can almost

touch the frilly collar of cream that my sister
drinks. My job: to take the empties. I dare

to carry them one-handed, letting their bodies
reverberate, a juddery hollow of sound curling

through my fingers and sliding into their open
throats. I have been taught not to answer back,

not to question the world of empty men,
tight-necked, stout-shouldered. When I reach

the front door, I silence them with a rolled-up
scroll, filled with my very best handwriting.

Olga’s first poetry pamphlet apple, fallen is published by Against the Grain Press and her second collection is to be published by Nine Pens Press later this year. She is a teacher and has two daughters. @olgadermott

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