Poetry Publication: A Chink in the Window

POETRY – “A CHINK IN THE WINDOW” BY FC MALBY 22/7/2022

A Chink in the Window

Light flickers through a chink in the window. Moths dance
outside in the low evening light, try to find their way inside,
the way children scramble to reach the popcorn. You think
about how people try to find ways out of things and ways in,
and about the constantly changing landscape of life.

Some scramble for the light, leaving at dawn, while others
remain. You wonder who controls the opening and closing
of windows, the turning of the leaves, the inner turmoil that
drives some to make the decisions that they do. You try to
fix them but some things are not fixable, not your

responsibility. Three moths have found their way in
through the chink and are dancing around the table
lamp. You wonder how many more will arrive and how
many will stay. Remaining through troubled times,
staying in the building, that’s the hard part. Some leave

when it gets too hot, others leave because they are
uncomfortable in their own skin. You wait for the moths
to leave near dawn, after they have settled in the warmth,
then close the window and watch the sun appear, feel
its warmth against flesh. And you know that if you travel
lightly, allowing the sand to sift through your fingertips

the right ones will remain in first the morning light.

FC Malby is a contributor to Unthology 8 and Hearing Voices: The Litro Anthology of New Fiction. Her work is forthcoming in the Reflex Press Anthology, Vol. 5. Her poetry has been published in Spillwords Press, Sledgehammer Lit and Unpublishable Zine. Her social media handle is @fcmalby.

I Want to Wear a Dress with Lemons All Over It by F.C. Malby – Sledgehammer Lit Mag

“Ready for war but not yet called up, fuelled on coffee and vodka with a lick of cynicism and delayed hope.”

My poem, I Want to Wear a Dress with Lemons All Over It, has been published in Sledgehammer Lit Mag. It was inspired by a photograph of a dress that Jill Biden wore, along with an ensuing conversation on Twitter about said dress. As a writer, I questioned why it had caused such a stir, especially because I’m not keen on the media focus on what women wear, so I played with the idea that it was the boldness of the colour and the print…

“the brazen cheer of it, the rebelliousness with which is stands out against the grey and drudge of news bulletins.”

And there began my poem….

“Somewhere there must be a place for a dress with lemons all over it, if not here, then there.

I want to wear a dress with lemons all over it,

a bright yellow citrus burst of colour like the

pansies in the garden. The brazen cheer of it,

the rebelliousness with which it stands out

against the grey and drudge of news bulletins

and long faces, people in their houses, locked

away with slippers, computers fixed to bodies

like combat clothing. Ready for war but not yet

called up, fuelled on coffee and vodka with a lick

of cynicism and delayed hope. The blackbird sings,

establishes itself as the Beethoven among birds,

competes with the Woodlark, Thrush, Skylark and

Robin. Song that pierces the dawn, punctuating

thoughts of another day, another unsent email

dishes rising in dank sinks, laundry spills

out of baskets waiting to be slipped against

flesh or folded and stacked, but the only things

folding in these times are dreams and jobs. Doors

close as we wait for a window to chink open.

Somewhere there must be a place for a dress

with lemons all over it, if not here, then there.