We lived on the army estate but the only war we fought
was us against the world: single mum and I, living
in a two bed flat with blue and yellow walls – maybe
orange kitchen tiles – my memory is childishly hazy, relying more
on stories than tangible moments in which I remember the smell
of your hair after you had a bath. But I remember the acquired fruit baskets
from Boxted’s fruit farm and watching the sun climb
higher in the sky before we wandered into the adjacent fields.
Together we scoured hedges, nicked our wrists and fingers
on brambles as you extolled lessons on picking the ripest berries;
learning, in my innocence, the difference between red berries
and blackberries. Picking and stealing juicy mouthfuls until
my fingers bled with summertime.
And on these days Mum, we won.
We won the war and loved until the sun closed its eyes,
rested its weary head like mine, lolling on your shoulder.
Poem: © Kristiana Reed 2020