Off colour

1946: a green rabbit and a grey giraffe, crafted by her uncle in hospital in Palestine, where making leather toys was therapy. Good solid toys, and wipeable, sturdy in a toddler’s hand. She wobbled round clutching the giraffe by its neck, the rabbit by its ears which occasionally strayed into her mouth. A toy in each hand gave a kind of balance. By the time her walking had steadied to a level plane the giraffe had developed a kink in its neck, and the rabbit’s ears were stained by too much sucking. When her mother took them away she started sucking her fingers – until they were dipped in Colman’s mustard,  so she stopped that too.



Anne Symons: After a career teaching deaf children and adults Anne began writing poetry in retirement. Her work has been published in Orbis, Obsessed with Pipework, Ekphrastic Review, Agenda and The Atlanta Review. She is currently studying for an MA in Writing Poetry with Newcastle University and the Poetry School, London.