Vivien Foulkes-James lives by the coast in North Lancashire. She writes mainly poetry and some short fiction. She is a founder member of Bare Writers, a local writing group.

Vivien has successfully published in poetry magazines including Reach Poetry, Dawntreader and Sarasvati, and several anthologies.

Letter to My Sister

On the tenth anniversary of your death,
it was a bright, crisp spring day
though there was a chill in the air
and later we had snow.

I was thinking of you.

My mind flitting back and forth
between glimpses from childhood
to later episodes.
You were the eldest sister, so grown up
while I, the baby of the family.
You were glamorous, sophisticated
and for a time, someone I longed to be.
I’d watch you going out for the evening,
your gorgeous hair piled high,
strawberry blonde you called it, definitely not red.
All dressed up in your stiletto heels,
stepping out to greet the night.

Later as adults, there were phone calls,
celebrations, get-togethers
and underlying tensions.
Leaving me with a series of what-ifs …
          we hadn’t been so alike
          we hadn’t been so different
          you hadn’t moved away
          there hadn’t been the eating disorder
          that blighted and claimed your life

On this, the tenth anniversary of your death,
I was thinking of the unanswered letters I sent you
and of how too late, you wished you had replied.

Vivien Foulkes-James 2021