The Village


                               When I pronounce silence I destroy it
—Wislawa Szymborska


Every morning the sun slides open and the people in the Village are watchful. For some reason no one can quite remember all the pianos have been abandoned and instead the harmonium is the only instrument that’s truly mastered. The Mayor has a professorial air though he has no education to speak of as there are no schools, universities or libraries. The waters (they say) have never been navigable and swimming is strictly prohibited.


The Villagers occupy themselves with digging. Most families will own a set of spades forged by the country smiths, children are shown the local digging methods as soon as they are able to walk. The Villagers pride themselves on inventing The Baron — it has an extra wide mouth and a side-wing, which can cut out the skin of the earth in one clean stroke. The people are adherents of the Old Faith; they recite passages of the ancient texts whilst they dig and on certain high holidays it is a sight to behold.


A part-blind woman who lives in the North is the oldest citizen. She is a witch  (of sorts) but is a highly cultured woman. If you visit more often than not they will bring her to you. The Village has its own coat of arms with a picture of a spade leaning on a simmal tree. The tree has lovely small red flowers and is considered holy, though it produces fruit which is inedible even to the bats.




Citizens of Everywhere is a project by the Centre for New and International Writing at the University of Liverpool. @CitizensofWhere #CitizensofEverywhere


lives in London. Her debut collection Small Hands was published by Liverpool University Press in 2015 and won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.