“A relationship with food.” Alison Donn


  1. oven food

I remember you coming home from work, it was
tea time. You were exhausted but
I had waited
urged the clock to hurry
all day at school
for our reunion,

On those nights we had oven pizza
‘Nice and easy darling, for you and me’

You unwrapped it on the counter which was taller than me so
I had to prop myself up on your feet
between body and cupboard just to
get a look.

Unable to resist, my small hands snatched at stray cheese and you
scolded but I could see the smile you failed to suppress. I laughed
high pitched and squeaky as 7 year olds do and
you couldn’t help but taste a piece too.

I remember meal times for two when dad
was away and brother unborn. This was time for

less worries than we have now just the
laughter and
nonsense musings we shared
over pizza
a type of contact we don’t have anymore
something that I miss

  1. the siren//to be afraid of food

There are so many we wish to revisit
in haste
in happiness
we feel this need to go back
to a place from the past that was good to us.

But there are places that are lacking
in this kind of light.

There is a place like this
(you might have one too)
inside my head.
This is where the siren lives.

The more I try to flee from her
the more she wails for me to return
to give up

how she cries
black out the numbers and taste with me
my dear.

I visit her.

Reluctant, but on occasion
when the current is too strong
and I can’t swim away from the rocks anymore.

She is happy to see me.

A grin, corroded
her teeth protrude
a yellow decay
I hear this is what sugar does
but trivialities like this matter not
to the siren.

She beckons
as I am pulled in
on the froth of the tide
and how I succumb
succumb and
until I am so deep in her waters
or is this my mind?

The place
where the words are jagged
they pierce
as I spit them through a mouthful
of seawater.

The sand is at my back as I reach the sea bed and
I know I have hit the bottom.
I could stay here
she would be happy to keep me under her control
down here.

I can even see her, above, on the shore, in the light
and it takes a while
but I know,
I don’t belong here.
This is her place and not mine so I push
against the sand
my mind
with the drowsy strength that these depths allow.

Swim, swim away
leave the siren behind
don’t look back at her
remember all that you have accomplished until now
swim away
away from this dark place

the siren calls
but I do not enjoy this retreat
goodbye sweet sister
for now
I am going home.

  1. on a (rare) good day

I’ve given up trying to impress.
Walk in the sun and enjoy
the touch of your elbows on your hips
as you move.

I know you think they’re too wide
too big
bigger than what is normal
but think instead of how you are capable
of love
of giving life and isn’t that wonderful?

Celebrate the wind
in the tousling of your hair
who cares
that it fell from place?
Let it be.

Keep the chemicals from your skin
you don’t need to colour your cheeks
just to go outside.

Embrace the air on your face
fresh and at one
with the outdoors
with yourself
for once.

landscape portrait of Alison DonnAlison Donn, 21, is a recent graduate of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, with an MA (Hons) English – Language & Linguistics. She really got back into writing during her third year of study and more recently after graduating, her passion is back with a force. She likes to write about everyday emotions and experiences with very normal language. She think it’s even more powerful and accessible for more people to create something poignant with the language we use on a daily basis. Her work is influenced a lot by the writers Daren Colbert, r.h. Sin, and Samantha King Holmes, whose styles she has really identified with when writing down her ideas. She hopes that her writing can only improve from now on; she feels incredibly happy and inspired where she is right now.