How do you split a washing machine down the middle? – Natalie Scott

How do you split a washing machine down the middle?

We’ve been told to divide items equally.
Fairly. Nothing about this seems fair.

Punching numbers on a calculator
works fine if we see the figures

not what they mean. Our equal halves
of the stock, or the shared life

we accumulated over twenty years?
We talk so readily of our ‘other half’

that we believe we can’t be whole
on our own. Some things just don’t split

down the middle. Apparently, we do.
But what about the toaster, the oven,

the kettle? We can take an axe to them.
Or not. Either way we get burned.

I feed sheets into its seething mouth.
Speechless. I watch them turn,

imagining a frothing fissure line
between your side and mine.

Natalie Scott is an internationally published poet and Creative Writing lecturer. Her latest award-winning collection Rare Birds – Voices of Holloway Prison, published by Valley Press on International Women’s Day, 2020, received ACE funding for a West End performance.

the man who held your heart in his hands – Natalie Scott

the man who held your heart in his hands

did he have……. a……. steady touch?
did he handle it ………….like a flower 
or…. a grounded…………. fledgling?
was it….. a butter-block…………melting 
in his palms? or did he ………..not need 
such metaphors? ………..did he. believe 
it could be fixed?……… did he …….know 
how many times it had been….. broken?
did he feel its……… fitful ………rhythm
quivering  …….like down…… between
his fingers? ……..was it ……….the first
or one of many feathers…… in hiscap?
did he imagine how much it loved me?
did he fear….. its beat…… would….. stop?

Natalie Scott is an internationally published poet and Creative Writing lecturer. Her latest award-winning collection Rare Birds – Voices of Holloway Prison, published by Valley Press on International Women’s Day, 2020, received ACE funding for a West End performance.