Codename Trellis – Sharon Phillips

Codename Trellis

If it was you: forty-odd, sneered at
for being a spinster, day after day
you care for your mum, your uncle,
your aunt until you can’t breathe
in the two-up two-down terrace

and though you can’t see the bay
from the house, you can hear it,
its restless grey grinding the beach,
its winds that lurch up the streets
and sea frets blocking the sunlight

and at work you’re reliable, careful
how you handle the top-secret plans,
day after day you file them away
and the boss thinks you’re too dim
to know exactly what they are:

if that was your life and someone
offered you money, good money,
and you saw what you’d be able
to do, how you could live — if that
was you, how would you choose?

Sharon lives in Otley, West Yorkshire. Her poems have been published in print and online, most recently in Atrium, Raceme and the Dreich Sci-Fi pamphlet. She is currently working towards a collection inspired by the life and works of the German artist Käthe Kollwitz.

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