Frankie Juniper Niamh


Days once starkly contrasting smudge into shades of the same colour
Realisation creeping up memory by memory
Home has proven an elusive state
But that has suited me
The excitement of a fresh start
Preferable to the prospect of becoming stagnant
Staying still for too long makes my skin begin to prickle
The passage of time not nearly as neatly packaged as I’ve needed it to be
I’ve been mulling over
How to shed this constrictive wrinkling
Skin for the grandiose turbulence of the familiar discomfort
I know and lust over and over for over
A year now and it’s only just hit me that maybe
I don’t want to leave here that I’m
Simply coming down from a high I’d had to
Chase because I never had a choice in these matters
Until now
The cravings are bound to linger awhile longer
So I’m finding myself longing to flee from the first
Bout of steadiness I’ve experienced in years
More than a roof the place I’ve carved out for myself around it
The paradox of permanance weighs
In on my mind constantly
But that can’t be what stops me from taking the opportunity to
Do more than catch my breath for once
As novelty cautiously gives way
To depths of quiet comfort previously
Inconceivably unavailable
I am putting my foot down
Allowing myself to put roots down
I have been creating the home I never had growing up
The kind I didn’t dare to let myself want
A home that reaches further
Than any overpriced mildewy rental’s walls
And a handful of people who couldn’t see past their own suffering enough
To realise they were passing the same pain on to those they said they love
Most of all
I have a home that means something to me
I’ve made a home shared with others
Within solitude
In the ground
In sunshine and small moments
And in movement forward
leading the life I never got to dream about growing into
One I am happy to see time wash over
As memories begin to bleed together
Embedded in the fabric of these places
Knowing it is by choice because
I have far more to hope for and sustain me
Than the next place I might escape to

Frankie Juniper Niamh's poem 'stains' was an entry in the 2022 Andrew Hardy Youth Poetry Prize (17-30yrs section).