Vaccination Day

At the surgery my mother
doesn’t want to wait in the car,
keeps opening the door. It’s deadly
out there, and all I can think
is she’s going to say Yoohoo!
It’s Mrs … yoohoo!

No one is actually warm enough.
Mr Poole never does turn up.
I find a tree and urinate on my shoe.
Afterwards she says
I hope you weren’t too cold?
I say, Not at all.

Later that night the garden
stares back at the stars.
How crooked they are.
The distance between them.
How they catch
whatever light there is.




Carolyn Oulton is Director of the International Centre for Victorian Women Writers at Canterbury Christ Church University. She is project lead for in collaboration with JSTOR Labs. Her most recent collection is Accidental Fruit (Worple).