Marion Ashton works part-time as an English Advisor for an international geological consultancy company, both in the United Kingdom and in Houston, Texas. She is currently doing the MA course in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, with Andrew Motion and Jo Shapcott as tutors. She moved to Texas with her husband in 2001, and lived there for five years. That experience, together with all the travel involved, provided inspiration for many of her most recent poems, often to do with issues of personal identity and the strangeness of shuttling between two very different worlds. She has been widely published in poetry magazines, and is currently working towards a first collection.
My first time in your house – different from ours –
wide-arched hallway, Persian rugs, antique urns,
we, flushed intruders, skiving the last hours
of school – Physics, and magnetic force patterns:
how the filings had leapt into linking tracks,
plotting North to South fields of attraction
across thin paper sheets. You turned the locks
and drew the curtains so we’d not be seen,
but in that dusk room, lined with leather books,
the cherries in their china bowl still shone
like rubies. I’d only tasted Marascinos –
speared, lipstick-bright in Babycham;
these were French Burlats: blood-red globes,
plump on dark stalks, ripe for taking. One by one
we ate them, testing smooth skin in our mouths,
breaking into the flesh, teasing out the stones,
kissing them, picked clean, into each others’ palms.
An earlier version of ‘Cherries’ was published in Seam, Issue 29.
Read more of Marion’s poems at Arvon Friends Online and in her online pamphlet.