Three Poems by Sarah L. Dixon

I will request peace and quiet (like Dad)

My Dad used to request
peace and quiet for Christmas.
We would laugh, sigh and ask,
What do you really want, Dad?

He would settle for less:
Extra-strong mints,
a bottle of Brut,
a chamois leather.

Now, stepping nearer to children
and chaotic Christmases,
I know what I’ll request and get:
a reply of childhood sighs,
end up with Extra-strong mints,
Charlie
and a chamois leather.

Now we have all left home,
Dad loves the absence of peace and quiet
on Christmas Day,
his growing family around him.

The Lakes, 1990

Short-haired,
I was always mistaken
for a lad in Maryport.

Madonna songs leap from the jukebox
in The Brown Cow, Cockermouth.
A roast for four and pints of squash.
Dad pays and we wait for his usual question:

Can I pester you for the mustard?

Said in such an English way, we laugh.

We trawl the cattle market boot-sale,
breathe the stench of scared cows.
The stalls flaunt Stephen King books,
roasting tins and pepper grinders.

We pass Wordsworth’s House
and the place we saw a factory fall,
stomp to the car park
in Peter Storm cagoules.
Unyielding leather walking boots pinch the skin
where my second pair of socks have worn through.

Sunday, Petrol Day

We know Dad has gone to fill Emma, our car.
Our noses press against the bay window
our heels are bouncing in expectation.

We have laid out two daisy-patterned bowls
ready for caramel, sliced thinly
and a dozen chocolate globes, crisp inside.

Dad always buys one Cadbury’s Fudge
and a pack of Maltesers.
We happily share them.



Sarah L Dixon is based in Huddersfield and sometimes tours as The Quiet Compere. She has most recently been accepted for Lighthouse, Pennine Platform, International Times and Strix #6. Her first book, ‘The sky is cracked’, was released by Half Moon Press in November 2017 and her book ‘Adding wax patterns to Wednesday’ was released by Three Drops Press in November 2018. Sarah’s inspiration comes from ale, dancing around her front room to 90s Indie, being by and in water and adventures with her son, Frank (9).

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