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Swings and Roundabouts with Sophie Parker

Swings and Roundabouts with Sophie Parker

Swings, Roundabouts
1 slice of toast
2 cans of Coke

6 boxer briefs
1 half-read article on SIDS
A dozen idling friendships
35 unread messages on WhatsApp about a classmate’s mislaid tracksuit top
4 morning nappy changes (that’s the thing about cloth)

2 steaming bin bags you’re incapable of accompanying outside
1 struggle down the stairs with screaming child
1 splits
1500 shits fucks fuck’s sakes
1 half-price birthday cake from M&S 

1 humane disposal of a spider
1 mental note to fix the ladder in the eldest’s tights
Third online search this month for Pilates classes
1 blackened casserole
6 chicken nuggets

2 bath-time battles
13 I love you to the moon and backs
1 permanent career break (or so it looks like)
17 minutes of adult Netflix
4 in the bed
15 sheep
1 pair of tights unstitched

In the museum, the recreation of a female prosopon
or mask—its fibrous crown and hollow grimace—
reminds me of that time, anonymous in stirrups,
begging do me                                    no harm.
We smile on, though the catgut muzzle smarts.

Raise your woman-masks like crucifix or thunderstone,
perform unprompted from ancestral memory
on Milanese wall, unfamiliar mattress, gurney.
Like Béatrice Dalle from her stage in Gruissan,
all the more threatening for keeping our T-shirts on.

As I Was Falling
As I was falling, ether-promised,
I thought how it was five floors more
than Dante’s circles

And of those kermes scarlet cloaks
dyed in the grain and four times shorn
to fine silk likeness

Of female insects’ life’s work, thought
I would like to come back as colour martyr,

Oak, as bug or evergreen
or any living thing.
It wouldn’t matter.


Sophie is an Irish-born writer based in Buenos Aires one of her main areas of interest is human rights in childbirth.

Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines including the Irish Times, Buenos Aires Herald, and Time Out Buenos Aires, and she has contributed to the books ‘Perfect Places Argentina & Uruguay’, ‘Shortlist Buenos Aires’ and ‘500 Ways to Experience Brazil Around the World’.

You can discover more of Sophie's work here.

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