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Fiona Sinclair
Fiona Sinclair

Fiona Sinclair’s work has appeared in numerous publications. Her second pamphlet A Game of Hide and Seek is due out in May from Indigo Dreams Press. She is the editor of the online poetry magazine Message in a Bottle.

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Fiona Sinclair Poetry

The Room


In the waiting area, after Hello, silence;

we are tongue tied by the house rule

never to trespass on the personal, outside.

At 11, the psychotherapist shuts the door on:

cheery smiles donned with coats

for the chatty cashier at the co-op,

an animated I’m fine to family and friends

who roll their eyes at depression’s monotone .


"How is everyone this week?"

We stare at the carpet, examine our nails….

reluctant to appear too greedy;

until Amy’s eyes begin to drip tears -

after years of schizophrenic husband attaching

himself to her like a tag as she cleans , shops, pees…

vomiting has become  her guilty pleasure.


Liz, relives tending daughter’s bruises,

her ‘Leave him’ parried with ‘Don’t start mum’;

striking the woman with the same paraplegic helplessness

as her six-year-old self 

unable to get ‘father to stop.’


‘Room’ etiquette means we listen in trappist silence

to each other’s Alan Bennett monologues,

then offer only palliative words,

understanding that some lives are incurable.


12.30 the psychotherapist’s eyes flick to the wall clock.

We scatter with cheerful ‘Goodbyes’ and ‘See you next week’

like casual acquaintance from a Pilates class.

Singing Group


We slide up and down the scales

like nervous skaters.

Once again death

has positively discriminated against woman

so that twelve men

must do the heavy lifting in ‘Old Man River’.

At break, called up for tea duty,

an ex-teacher duo

red faced and glazed eyed

deal with temperamental urn and

requests for coffee.

In loose groups, couples on mouth watering

pensions share cruise ship stories

whilst Pearl and Pamela dote on grandchildren.

Showered with Good Byes and Have a good week,

it is as if I've spent the afternoon

in an Ealing film.

Homeward, I pass a young couple

in wax jackets walking Labradors,

my Hello ignored as they pass me.

Ladies who lunch


Wine has over rouged your cheeks.

Bouncing up, you must show me

why “Mathematics is truth”, on your iPhone.

Whilst behind a rictus grin

I try to calm my screaming thoughts

in the aftermath of the letter bomb that exploded

on my doormat earlier this morning;

which I do not mention because it is your birthday.



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