Creative Writing Ink May 2018 Winner

Christmas Morning

Beatrice Hughes


My mother is immortal in the way she holds her cup of tea;

in lamplight, before the sunrise, with her eyes shut.

Her hands could be housing a baby bird, and through years

of love, my father has learned not to fill the mug

all the way to the top. He allows for a strip of ceramic

where she can rub her thumbs, as though moulding

the clay between her fingers.

At six, I would have run forwards into her warmth

but there’s something freezing me inside this moment now.

Limbo before the creaking hallway floorboard rouses her,

I hold my breath to keep us there a little longer.