by Danni Matthews

For tortuous hours I raged methodically,
plucking with hope at edges and seams,
dashing both in fruitless swoops,
my eyes wild and raving.

I knew it was nestled in somewhere,
cosy against worthless items,
its value hiding in shadows
of a suddenly-vast hoard of Things.

Doubt crept in as hopes were dashed;
my mind rattled with paranoia
and imagined hands plucked my prize
from its unrecalled stowaway home.

I raged less methodically now,
tearing around the room rapidly
and cursing unseen thieves,
dreams of big-spending ashes.

The search is abruptly abandoned,
and hand and heart reach for book,
that familiar comfort
to lessen the loss.

A book removed petulantly from shelf,
and all imagined thieves vanish
as my birthday money reappears,
and the room breathes, relieved.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Apparently no images of me exist at the time of the Birthday Money Scandal of 2003, but this was taken about a year afterwards.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I was given the princely sum of £60 total for my sixteenth birthday, and nominated a “safe place” in which to keep it. The safe place proved too safe, and I tore up my bedroom looking for it for quite some time before good old books prevented me from an irate breakdown. Afterwards I could laugh, but I do remember being especially incensed because my bedroom was so small it seemed impossible to lose anything!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Danni Matthews is a published writer from Manchester, UK. She has received awards, television opportunities, and recently attended a poetry residency in Portugal, courtesy of the Bread Matters Foundation. Danni is a self-confessed Word Nerd with a love of literature, and is currently working on her first solo poetry collection. She lives with her vast collection of books, and they’re all very happy together. You can find out more at Facebook.