Comments 43



I have never liked the way rust feels against the skin.

Shards of old paint curling and collapsing

beneath the press of tiny, grubby fingers

as the latch on the gate fights to remain shut,

last weeks rain, too much for something so old

to face without a little protest.

The tiny flakes that stay behind,

stuck into the sweat and the mud,

too small and sharp to brush off all together

no matter how many times hands are scrubbed

against dirt stained jeans with patches at the knees

or run across the grain of old fence posts

that dot the garden paths and always lead

back home.




This entry was posted in: Poetry


Carol J Forrester is a writer and a history geek. Her debut collection 'It's All In The Blood' came out November 2019. She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University, enjoys judo at least twice a week, and tries to attend poetry events around the Midlands when she can. Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry. Her poems ‘Sunsets’ and ‘Clear Out‘ were featured on Eyes Plus Words, and two of her poems were included in the DVerse Poets Pub Publication ‘Chiaroscuro’ which is available for purchase on amazon.Her poem ‘Until The Light Gets In‘ was accepted and published at The Drabble and her poem ‘Newborn’ was published by Ink Sweat & Tears. She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and has hosted a number of guest bloggers on her site Writing and Works.


    • Thank you Victoria. I think it’s a pretty common experience, but it was something from my childhood that really stuck with me, especially as my parents were big on ‘go and play outside’ and we had this huge garden.

  1. I think looking for those everyday experiences, the details and visualize them is what it’s all about.. Actually the length makes it so good when you have those nasty little flakes..

  2. Oh, the images in your poem are so strong I can almost feel the rust on my fingers. I like that you found something so unusual but yet so ordinary to write about.

  3. Those nasty little flakes – my hands felt those icky flakes and the itch again. I like the way this takes such a common thing and changes it into something extraordinary and universal.

  4. I too like that you took such a mundane (but annoying) occurrence and wrote what we’ve all experienced about it…your images are clearly captured and presented beautifully.

  5. Rust put me in mind of Joan Baez’s Diamonds and Rust. It was her 75th birthday yesterday. Rust that sticks and diamonds that shine – forever objects. Here it becomes a touchstone to childhood – to gardens that seem the size of a continent to a child, and equally exotic. This is laced with so much texture and tactile references that it really does “get under your skin”.
    Thank you.

    • Thank you for the lovely comment. I think the point of poetry is to get under the skin to a certain extent so I’m very happy to hear that you think I achieved that.

  6. Also wondering if perchance you have trouble commenting on my blog…as it is a Blogger blog. Curious.

    • Not trouble, it’s more a nuisance since I have to select who I want to comment as, and then sign into my word press account before I can post a comment.
      I did read and enjoy your post though.

  7. Rust …something so overlooked and semi-annoying, but you have given it a purpose…if only for sentimental memories. I can feel the story behind the rust.

  8. Ah, this is so evocative of childhood experiences with rust..its color and how it sticks with you…reminds me of the feel of nails on a chalkboard. In this case, the length is absolutely fitting.

    • Thank you. I was a little concerned when I read some of the others that mine was a bit long but I didn’t think it worked as well shorter.

  9. Excellent description here….I can feel it, I can see it. I’ve experienced this — getting that red rust dust on your hands…..but I always then got red stains on my clothes, which my mother wasn’t too happy about! 🙂
    Thanks for the memories here…….really really enjoyed this one!

  10. ShirleyB says

    Intricate attention to detail renders vivid imagery. Excellent.

  11. Rusty memories of paint
    peeling off aluminum
    anything.. scrape
    paint.. and
    peel again..
    rust or not..:)

  12. …. too much for something so old ….. this made the image even clearer.
    Nicely done/

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