Alice by Marc Hamer

Her Grandma went gaga, then died. So Alice moved in and her boyfriend came soon after. And they set up house together in her Grandma’s flat. They took up the stained old carpets and painted the walls a sunny yellow like the door handles. They got rid of the old lady furniture replacing it with stuff from IKEA to make it their own.

But whatever they did they couldn’t get it right. They slowly changed everything in the flat, the green toilet and bath and the sink, the ancient lampshades and slowly the smell changed to their smell, the smell of their food, their soaps and cleaning products, their male and female bodies. Their young lives. But they never could get the sense of Grandma out of the flat.

Seven years later when the flat looked totally different as she was on the way out, Alice took hold of the yellow door handle, the familiar door handle that her grandma had touched through her fifties and sixties, her seventies and eighties and into her nineties, and had once been white.

Alice smiled and patted the handle gently and mentally made a note to buy some bleach.


Marc Hamer was born in Manchester and moved to Wales over thirty years ago. After spending a period homeless as a rough sleeper, then working on the railway he returned to education and studied fine art. He has worked in art galleries, marketing, graphic design, as a magazine editor and taught creative writing in Cardiff Prison. Marc is a member of The British Haiku Society and has work published in various journals. He lives with his wife in Cardiff and is working on a collection of poetry. Marc tweets @_marchamer_

Image: Logan Ripley