Introduction Foreword Writing Together Coping Within The System Coping On My Own Coping With Teenagers Coping With Relationships Live Performance

Vicky Hulatt


These roots will need doing again very soon
I went to the salon to see about them and they said
No, sweetheart, the pain of you is almost more than we can bear
The pain of you is almost more than we can bear
I left because I had asked a lot
I’d lugged in my family tree and asked them to repot
With efficacious toil
these straggling roots
In ericaceous soil
They said, but love,
We don’t do topiary
I said, that’s O.K.,
Dig down dig deeper
There’s very little that’s a keeper
The ladies with scissors fell upon my past history
As though it was the back catalogue of Take That.
It was a slow afternoon. They snipped me and shaped me.
They chemmed me up some highlights and bleached me
back to babyhood. I was ready
For outside.
They took my money and told me don’t stop growing.
At that point I had no way of knowing
These roots would need doing again.


‘I’m a community artist and writer, creative book-binder, mum, forest-dweller and black-dog walker. It’s taken twenty years or so to train it, but it doesn’t jump up and bite me anymore.’