The Second Version

Louise Hislop

I was ten.
It was in charcoal on white paper.
Thick paper, with texture
that caught at the burnt wood,
breaking it beneath my fingers.

It was night.
There was a house, with shutters,
an open front door,
trees, a sweeping drive
and me, standing before the walls.

It was the scariest picture
my mother said, so I gave it to her.
Living with us then, my grandmother,
envious of everything my mother had,
asked for the picture.

A copy is never as good.
The walls would not stand straight,
the door kept closing and every time
I drew in the legs the girl would run off.
My grandmother knew, but even she could not say.

Louise Hislop

Louise lives in Northumberland with her family. Between shifts at the local leisure centre she writes, gardens and photographs (especially bees and spiders at the moment, but last year it was plants). She finds the process of pottering in the garden often produces solutions to her poetic and other problems.

Louise writes with advice and encouragement from the Writing from the Inside Out workshops, at the Centre for Lifelong Learning. She is currently half-way through a part-time MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University, which fills any spare time she finds.

The Second Version won first prize in the Northumberland Writers' Open Competition in 2007. It was inspired by a tutorial with Linda France on the common features of prize-winning poetry!

More recent news from Louise, and another poem here.

Poem of the Month full list

Follow the link for a list of other Poems of the Month.

The Second Version © 2007 Louise Hislop: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.