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"Rien de rien" & "Alice" by Annick Yerem

Rien de rien

You now believe you know me.

You send letters laced with praise,

stories about your good daughter.

But I remember I was like the girls

you hated/ a flirt/ crazy cause you were

his birth the only good thing I did

with my life/ not-wanting-to

-live a provocation

Between the strokes,

true to form, a void

between abject and accusing

I´m all but nothing

like you, a reminder

of words conveniently forgotten,

no fight worth fighting anymore

Signed this truce three years ago,

cradled my sorrows, absorbed

all truths crossing my path

I have birdsong now,

gentleness, unshrinking violets

and warmth, wild snouts digging for

traces of Jerusalem


She was five back then,

red-haired and freckly,

a wild girl who bit

into the lids of yoghurt

pots with sharp teeth,

didn´t want to comb

her hair, didn´t want to

go to bed, could scowl

with the best of them,

a tiny rebel with a cause.

So when she was allowed to choose

her first pair of shoes, no questions

asked, she didn´t choose the Mary-Janes,

the dainty red sandals, the pink

lacquered pointy- toes.

She chose Doc Marten boots, black,

laced up her wiry legs

and stomped through the house

and through life with brazen delight

at what it had to offer.

I still know her.

She is a grown woman now.

Forever that hair though, those

freckles, the spark of those boots.

Annick Yerem is a Scottish/German poet who lives and works in Berlin. Annick tweets @missyerem and has been published, among other places, by RiverMouthReview, Anti-Heroin-Chic, Rejection Letters, 192, Eat The Storms podcast, Green Ink Poetry, Open Collab, Sledgehammer Lit and The Dirigible Balloon. She is currently working on her first chapbook (Hedgehog Press, 2022), St.Eisenberg& The Sunshine Bus.


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