We have another new submission this week from Emily Oldfield. Her poem Hide and Seek is a disturbing insight into the child which lurks inside the speaker and, perhaps, inside of all of us. Emily’s poem is refreshing in its unique form, which creates a jarring effect, and it is clear that Oldfield understands how to use form as a way of complimenting the content. We look forward to reading more of Emily’s poetry. If you’re inspired by Emily’s poem, please send us your submissions at creativewriting@thetribeonline.com


Hide and Seek 

The game the mother would always discourage

We turned domestic space into wonders

It unnerved her

Now the stir of hunger

Works at my fingers

Corneas still burn

In that same way

As when the light is turned off

Then on again.

I remember

The smell of the salt

Baked into the palms

As I counted to ten

Behind the mask of my hands

Now that scent again

Only this time the eyes squeezed

The numerals wept


I did not find the child that I hid

Behind this self-defence




I confess with ease

Mummy, everything I write is shit

And time draws along like regret

I do not let myself sleep

Or eat either

I have become a teacher of my own limbs

Hiding and seeking each one

Simultaneously in clothing

Searching the screens

As if they have meaning


Concepts like love and politics

All illusory.

Time I have stuffed

Into endless routines

Fat greedy handfuls

Though the teeth only meet

Over a memory

Biting the tongue

Back in its belief

I am wrong

I am wrong.




Someone is weeping

For they have been hidden to along

Under the stairs we all climb up

My childhood corpse


As if sleeping

Dreaming  back to when

I could hide each part

Flesh and bone

Under the bed.

Now I lie alone

Inviting music which drags

And I imagine it to be touch

Over touch

I am mad



Now these are the days I discover

The body only fits accustomed expanse

But my words, disgraced

Are disgusting

–          Nobody wants them,

The weight of my face

Crushing my hands

In a mark of its mourning

And I am still searching

Newspaper, magazines

scanning for something





Ready or not, I am coming

I would call, running

Heat-hungry down the hall

Now I walked through filled rooms

And find nothing

Occasionally  call

For someone looking for me

–          We know it’s a lie

I play with fables


My fingers seek, what the keys cannot provide

I listen to monologues of speech

Sift through photographs, prise

The book from its sleeve

Feel the suspense of time.

I occasionally cheat

And entertain those childhood friends

On the stage of my hands

Now a stage of regret

I thought the search was only a game


Now I sit here and count

But nobody waits


Everybody is out.




Emily Oldfield