Laura Varnam

Medieval Mystic Margery Kempe in Tesco

Of   course   she’s   one   of  those  shoppers
who  thinks  she  won’t  need  a  trolley  but
halfway round her basket’s on the lino  and
she’s   losing  tins   of    custard    powder  &
baby  formula and she’s crushing  the  body
&   blood   of  Christ  under  her  arm   while
John  Junior   tucks  into   a  doughnut   she
hasn’t    paid    for     yet     and    there’s    an
unexpected  item  in  the bagging  area  and
it’s  Christ  again wanting to  talk  about his
glory  and  she just wants  to  get home and
putthe  kids  in  front  of   CBeebies to  keep
them  occupied  before  He  starts  on about
how lonely  it  is  in  heaven.  She clutches a
multipack    of     paper     towel      and     its
whiteness   gives    her   hope.
Laura Varnam is one of the three winners of the Nine Arches Press Primers competition 2023 and a selection of her poems will be published in Primers Volume 7 (August 2024). Her poems have been published in journals including Bad Lilies, Banshee Lit, Berlin Lit, MIR Online, Osmosis Press, and Wet Grain; the Gods & Monsters anthology (ed Ana Sampson); and with creative-critical essays in Annie journal and Postmedieval. She has poems forthcoming in Dust Poetry and Under the Radar.

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