roaming the forest behind
our house, carving R H
in the bark of trees. Not Maid Marian,
too mumsy in her cambric skirts
and flaxen braids. The thigh-length
boots appealed to me. I cropped
my hair, collected long green feathers.
My Granddad taught me archery.
Hold tight the bow, and let the arrow fly.
The gymslip girls were my Merry Men.
They followed me through waist-high bracken,
braving the sticky green spikes to the fence
where the ferrets were nailed. We dared
each other to touch the feet. We smeared
our bloodied fingers across each others’
cheeks. Blood brothers now, we plundered
the woods for willow and yew, gathered
whortleberries, wild sorrel and nuts
which we fed each other in earthy dark,
as we hid from the Sheriff in the Mighty Oak.
Jennie Farley is a published poet, teacher and workshop leader living in Cheltenham. Her work has featured in many poetry magazines and been performed at Festivals. Her first collection is My Grandmother Skating (Indigo Dreams Publishing 2016) followed by Hex (IDP 2018). She founded and runs NewBohemians@CharltonKings, a popular arts club providing poetry, performance and music throughout the year.You can find out more information about Jennie's work on her website: jenniefarleypoetry.wordpress.com