Katie Piper

Katie Piper is British and now lives in Wodonga, Australia with her Aussie hubby and toddler. Katie is a nurse-academic and uses creative story work as a teaching tool. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in: Reflex Fiction, The Cabinet of Heed & Virtual Zine Mag.


Leaves look like they were almost autumn for a moment. Most are pocked with black scars, as if cigarettes have been stubbed out and the ash has coagulated in their papery veins. 

My fingers feel gritty–that’s what they said to me last time, ‘your placenta is gritty’ –and so I felt the shame of geriatric pregnancy, as if I had a rheumatoid uterus, or bulbous eggs at 40.

My own brutality has come out of season, and , I keep searching, even though I won’t find what I’m looking for. It’s one of those days, and I can only see the ordinaries, so I know this acorn won’t turn up for me, and I do nothing in rhythm on these days. An off- kilter state has to be accepted, or ridden on until sleep comes.

I sit on the bench in the main street. I’ve forgotten where I am in my scavenging. He is still in the coffee shop queue. I can just make him out through the foggy door. I look up and down the street for a clue of something better, but there’s nothing or at least nothing my eyes are willing to see. Then I realize I’m cold, mostly my peripheries–my pelvis is hot, though. My pad feels like an iron that’s cooling with elements of hot and cold. It will be heavy and sodden when we walk back because it will be past capacity, unable to catch all from the split seam. I haven’t told him yet. 

We will walk back up the street, arms linked, and he will have a lift in his step because he sees the season of preparation. Preparing to nest, to go inwards with our bundle, to be rid of what we don’t need so we can nurture our newborn. He doesn’t see the ordinaries yet, and I want to stave them off, for him, for a little longer. 

Until he trudges back down the street toward me, with an acorn wearing a bonnet. I know you love these, he says. 

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