Weihnachtsmarkt with Mum KAT HEALY Celle, Weihnachtsmarkt circa December, 1984. Gingerbread swings from wooden stalls. Sticky hands scoop sugared almonds. Plumed hats cast winter shadows. Steam rises from mugs of Glühwein. Bratwursts roll over the griddle. The brass band thumps a steady rhythm. You’re cold to the bone. I want to be carried so I can see better. You heave me up against your ski jacket. I’m wearing yellow earmuffs and woollen mittens. My cheeks ache. My toes wriggle— stuffed into boots. We wander over cobbled stones. The Schloss looms, geradeaus. You point at feathered icebergs. We watch them glide over the moat.
—(From ‘Ripening’ 2023, by Kat Healy)
My favourite summer adventure was Heide Park. The log flumes, cups n’ saucers, the dodgems—I was too small (too scared) for the real rides.
I remember wooden floats on the lake with Gran and Gramps. Gran couldn’t swim, so I knew I was safe, climbing and waving at strangers.
Eventually, I was old enough (tall enough) to go on the pirate ship with its creaking hinges threatening to tip us overboard. I learned to love it, ‘Again, again!’—joy mixed with adrenaline.
We had ketchup-covered hands from currywurst and pommes. Wasps diving at scoops of ice cream. I was always annoyed at ‘home time’, dragging my feet to the car.
I’d watch Mum go quiet at the wheel, lost in concentration (left-hand drive).
The engine hummed on the autobahn.
We fell asleep in the back seat.
This month, I’m releasing a series of short extracts and reflections from my first poetry pamphlet, ‘Ripening’, due in 2024. The pamphlet will be accompanied by original artwork and songs.
As an indie artist, I’m self-publishing my pamphlet. If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to support my work.
Thank you! Kat x