Anna Johnson

Anna Johnson is currently undertaking a PhD in Creative Writing at Kingston University. Her practice is one of poetic-prose life-writing and poetry and her research focuses on the intersections of maternal studies, disability and illness writing, neurodiversity and queer theory. Anna’s PhD study explores the ways in which the language of the spectral, ghosts and hauntings, offers a possible route to the expression of difficult-to-articulate experiences, such as the strangeness of early motherhood.

the sound alternated

scattering turning to rushing as we passed under each tree’s
thinning canopy

splitting and multiplying the sound so it became
the sound of a brook
above our heads in the city park

and my shoulders feel sharply cold as my cheap raincoat soaks through

the crooks of my elbows too

and a different coldness
to my bare hands
feeling the pushchair’s handles wet beneath my palms
his rain cover beginning to mist with his small damp warmth
the rainwater from his hair

and I imagine the feel of his clean clothes now
on his damp, gritted skin

I had changed his socks and trousers and tipped the water from his wellies
sat him back in the pushchair with something to eat

and I walk us all the way home
even as the rain deepens
because I can’t stand the clatter of the bus after the peace of the empty park

its grass seeming to glow
cleaved at its edge with ridges of thick dark mud