The Watchtower & Second Guessing || by Kate Meyer-Currey


The Watchtower

‘Shattering’ is the only word she ever 

spoke to me, her daughter. She lived in 

its shadow. I am the child of guarded 

words. I grew up behind walls of silence, 

never breached by careless questions.

It was how she protected herself and I 

honour it. It was a bitter truth to learn. 

Before, I felt shut out by her facade of 

containment. I pounded at the drawbridge 

of her besieged life like an emotional 

battering-ram. She held fast. As I sulked 

in the tent of youthful self-absorption, I 

thought she did not care. I was wrong. 

My father assailed my mother’s integrity 

during their forty-year marital blockade. 

I was a Trojan horse, sent in to spy behind 

the lines. But, like all informers, I served 

both sides and said nothing. She, too, 

was immutable under the Greek fire of 

his verbal abuse. He was a traitor who 

derogated her suffering, so she turned to 

stone. After my father’s death, stalemate 

turned to truce and we regrouped, both 

battle-weary. We forged a new alliance. 

My mother was the watchtower that kept 

me always in her sights. She was remade 

from her darkness into my searchlight: a 

beacon to my distress-flare. Under its 

guiding beam I found my way home. 


Second Guessing 

Pointless to speculate why 

you were not there yesterday

when we planned to meet.

saw the warning signs when 

WhatsApp displayed its grey 

noncommittal ticks. It’s quite 

normal for you to be hijacked 

by life’s sudden convulsive 

chaos. I don’t imagine the

worst anymore as it’s already

happened; several times. It 

might be your phone broke,

you had a fight with your 

other half, or you fell back

into it or simply had no credit.

I still went to your address 

as it was on my way home. 

I looked into blank windows 

and rang the dead doorbell. 

I sent you a photo of your 

front door so you know I 

tried. Right place, wrong

time, I guess. I know there

are places no friend can 

follow because I’ve been 

there too. You’ll come 

back online when you are 

ready. Experience belies 

all second-guessing when

silence has its own subtext.

Image Credit: © Paul Larson


KATE MEYER-CURREY was born in 1969 and moved to Devon in 1973. A varied career in frontline settings has fuelled her interest in gritty urbanism, contrasted with a rural upbringing. Her ADHD also instils a sense of ‘other’ in her life and writing. She currently has over forty poems in print and e journals. 
‘Gloves’ recently made top 100 in the UK’s ‘PoetryforGood’ competition for healthcare workers.
Her first chapbook ‘County Lines’ (Dancing Girl Press) comes out later this year.


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