You can’t turn it back,
unbake the cake,
ungrind the flour,
unharvest the grain,
or make the chicken unlay her eggs.
You can’t turn it back,
unrefine the sugar,
resow the cane
or unchurn the butter,
or better still
unmilk the cow.

You can’t unmake it, once it’s done.
Once it’s done, it’s something else.

But these are only words.  Like love.
Like love which beckons me to follow behind,
through scented streets and perfumed paths
and halts me at the baker’s with a knowing smile.
And as I melt on drifts of cinnamon and ginger,
and as I protest that I have love, that I have you,
that one tiny crumb on parted lips
leaves me yearning.

So then there were questions, your “hows?”, and “whys?”
I could have said I didn’t know.  I could have said
anything to let you off, to let the mice nibble
at your love for me til there was nothing left.
But there was one thing he had that you didn’t.
He had the recipe to unbake all this.
He had the recipe to make it his.

© Jacqui Thatcher 2016

(Featured image:



It is 6.34 am and optimal sleep  has been reached.

“You are awake now!” a digital voice commands without

humanity. And I am rolled to the edge

of the cradled bed. “Your safety is our

priority,” it claims.


But I know. On this day, that

my humanity is my downfall.

My downfall is being human.


Mechanically showered,

washing away the yellow stink

of the night-time, I am dressed

and put on my feet. Cold grabbing steel

at my elbow as I shuffle forward

on arthritic feet, forwards onto the



And sat in a seat, next to a woman

in polyester and wool,

who smiles generously. “Do you

remember the girls who used to do

this? Those bitches!” she confides.

“They cared only about earning enough

to get high!”


Chest heaving with smoker’s joy, I crane around

my stiffened neck and slowly, I can focus on her.

“At least they were human!” I reply but she laughs,

a wobbly gurgle in her throat.

“Only just,” she said.


As the drawer in my chair swishes open,

my day’s high arrives. A rainbow

of pills which I put in my mouth, one by one.

Swilling them round, I let them melt, remembering

the dark silk of chocolate. Then that soulless voice in my chair,

“Please swallow pill 102!”


There are no secrets, here.