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written by: Fotoula Reynolds


For as long as she could remember
The large wooden pantry box
Stood soldier like in the corner
She can still see it, smell it
Under lock and key, access denied
A tiny kitchen with table and chairs
Where food was prepared on and
Meals were shared, don’t look sideways

Only ten years old, hardship endured
Her tired hands told the painful story
She followed instructions, did not resist
The obedient child worked so hard
Her future was laid out before her
She had aged before she saw her childhood
Chores and caregiving duties were her life
She loved her father, she loved her siblings

Today was the day for errands
Never ridden a horse, time to learn
Fetch these items and don’t be long
Scared, she had no choice, horse kicked
She was called micro-mana by the villagers
Well experienced in motherhood life
For she had already four years to practice
Her stepmother made it her mission for her

Her father laboured and was gone all day
Escape to Grandma’s house, it was her happy place
Just a short skip down the cobble stoned path
Only there did her wilting heart come out to play
A slap on the face came her way, aftershock sting
But stepmother, I am a little girl, where else do I go for love?
Back to work, the pantry box needs filling

Fotoula Reynolds

Fotoula Reynolds

Fotoula Reynolds is an author of poetry. She lives in the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria, Australia with her family. Living in the hills lends itself to the topics of nature where she draws inspiration from the surrounding spaces. She began writing poetry in 2016 and has published her first book of poems titled: The sanctuary of my garden (2018). Her work has been published internationally in e-zines/journals/reviews/anthologies.
Fotoula Reynolds

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