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Telling A Friend Your Good News by Attracta Fahy

When I finally tell her
I have been published; she turns
her eyes, struggles to hide 
as she squeezes out in a high pitched
tone through pursed lips,

‘Fantastic!’

We both pretend, placate, slowly 
withdraw, just as we’ve been taught.
I too have read Clive James’ poem, 
know what envy can do, when one feels 
their stomach is never full. 

I know how friends respond, projecting 
to others what’s really their own,
saying the opposite of what they feel. 

I have learned to read language 
on many levels, to appease, 
grapple with my own inner hell.
Why should I always be the one to name 
what’s really going on?

We sit at the table, one red apple 
placed in a bowl. Two awful witches 
only in fairytales, eating innocent young girls.

I feel that claw again, my heart sinks 
into what feels like a pit, guilt, 
hers already in grief, rage best left alone,
the apple tempting me to take the first bite. 

Behind us, a dark shadow looms 
over the green wall, consumes the air, 
things we’ve neglected return with force.  

Two womxn looking in the same mirror, 
two young girls screaming from within.
Two witches cleaving until one smashes 
all reflections and the room is filled with splinters. 

---

Attracta Fahy, Psychotherapist, MAW NUIG ‘17. Winner of Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition 2021. Irish Times; New Irish Writing 2019, Pushcart & Best of Web nominee, shortlisted for: OTE 2018 New Writer, Allingham Poetry competition both 2019 &’20, and Write By The Sea Writing Competition 2021. Attracta was chosen for Dedalus Press Mentoring Programme 2021. Fly on the Wall Poetry published her best selling debut chapbook collection Dinner in the Fields, in March’20.

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