She possesses no vocabulary for this pain she feels.
It’s “not an ache”, “not a throb” – “more of a strain”, she feels.
“Certainly not psychosomatic.” She rubs at imperceptible
ulcers on her shin, like a baked-on stain. It feels
like she’s losing whatever “it” might have been.
Yet taking tablets goes against her grain. She feels
things were best when things were left unsaid –
lips stiff and chins up. No bones about the disdain she feels
for this limp modern language of disease. No sense –
no relief for you, daughter – in urging her to explain how she feels.
About the Author:
Helen Victoria Anderson lives near Redcar and has an MA in Creative Writing from Teesside University. Her chapbook ‘Way Out’ is published by Black Light Engine Room Press and she is the author of ‘Piece by Piece: Remembering Georgina: A Mother’s Memoir’. Winner of the InkTears Flash Fiction Contest 2015 and the People Not Borders Short Story Competition 2017, Helen is a bereaved parent, a widow, and a firm believer in the therapeutic power of words.