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Image by Illiya Vjestica


the madrigal, volume iv

A Small But Valuable Abecedarian

by jen feroze

At nine years old, I wanted to
be a writer and an archaeologist. A headstrong
curly mix of Roald Dahl and Indiana Jones,
dusting off ancient treasures,
Egyptian hieroglyphs blooming under my
fingers. The desert strewn with lollipop trees,
giants and inky stardust. Then thirteen
hit and so did Point Horror, fervent crushes and the
indignant realisation that unrequited love is the same colour as
jealousy. Messy diary entries, fixating on first
kisses, and skulking in the school
library, where I felt most at home. Later, he loped into view –
mead and weed and campfires on the hill,
neither of us eating enough, fed by the intensity
of our feelings, our insatiable need for one another,
propping each other up from the world and its
questions, until our A frame collapsed in a heap of kindling,
ready for the bonfire. Fast forward through forlorn years of
study and dreaming spires sharp enough to draw blood,
‘til I’m suddenly and apparently grown. London bound,
unprepared for the fact that you would turn out to be you,
venturing tenderly from housemates to friends to the
wonder of ‘forever’, each of us holding a corner of the future,
x marks the spot. As much as I don’t know, I know this: I could listen to
you reading tales of giants and stars to our children forever,
zig-zagging tenderly through our strata of stories.

Jen Feroze is based in Essex. She draws from the seemingly mundane in her work, and likes to write with a stubborn upswing of hope. By turns inspired and exhausted by her two small children, she is currently working on a chapbook of poems about motherhood. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Capsule Stories, The 6ress, The Madrigal and Hyacinth Review, among others. Find her on instagram @the_colourofhope and Twitter @jenlareine. 

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