The day the ice came – Julia Webb

The day the ice came

you were pick-axe angry at the world
you came in from school and kicked the dog,
then spent hours in your room sobbing,
missing out on Blue Peter and The Wombles.
The afternoon had been sunny and warm
but by 6pm a chill was falling
and tiny snowflakes whirled against the glass.
When you put the dog out for her toilet
she ran straight back inside whimpering,
you warmed her paws by rubbing them
with mum’s old hair dye towel.
Mum felt sorry for you for once
and let you stay up to watch grown-up TV
until Dad returned from the pub,
a leering snowman, his breath on fire.

Julia Webb is a Norwich based poet/editor, she runs online and real-world poetry courses. She is a poetry editor for Lighthouse (a journal for new writing). She has two poetry collections with Nine Arches: ‘Bird Sisters’ (2016) and ‘Threat’ (2019).

Barmaid – Julia Webb

Barmaid

The glass is dripping, it makes your mouth water but you are here to work & to
smile only. You put the beer with its soft cold froth onto the table & crack a smile
because you are the bar. You wipe your hands on your dress. It’s hot & the
windows are open − the summer village sounds are crashing in & you wish you
were covered up from head to toe. But you are the pub & the pub likes to show its
pretty face & its welcoming smile, so you take your bare legs back behind the bar
& whatever he said doesn’t matter because you’ve heard it before & you pile the
dirty glasses into the washer & wish there was a way to steam away the smears.

 

Julia Webb graduated from UEA’s poetry MA in 2011. She has had work in various journals and anthologies. Her first Collection “Bird Sisters” was published by Nine Arches Press in 2016. She is a poetry editor for Lighthouse.

Public Bar, Central Hotel – Julia Webb

Public Bar, Central Hotel

Bill, swivelling on his stool to get a better look at your cleavage.
Bill, who tells you: you are the type of girl men have affairs with.
Bill, whose hand moves to his flies as he speaks.
Bill, whose leather car seats smell of suntan lotion.
Bill, who plays you like a drum, a flute.
Bill, who truth to tell – what truth might that be?
Bill, who by rights shouldn’t.
Bill, his hand sneaking up your skirt.
Bill, who plans to retire with a caravan and a Jack Russell.
Bill, suburban, slacked and uncompromising.
Bill, shorter than you, but you pretend not to notice.
Bill, who promised you nothing but dry-heaves in a pub toilet.
Bill, too cheap even for a cheap hotel.
Bill, who silent-fucks you in the car park behind the bins.
Bill, who won’t look you in the eye but buys you another vodka and orange.
Bill, twizzling his pinkie ring and thinking about his wife.
Bill, sheepskin jacket on, heading home.
Bill, once, you said, and that was the second time.

 

Julia Webb graduated from UEA’s poetry MA in 2011. She has had work in various journals and anthologies. Her first Collection “Bird Sisters” was published by Nine Arches Press in 2016. She is a poetry editor for Lighthouse.