Gum Boots

In my dream the words were in a crossword puzzle. They were the answer, and written downwards. And all through my dream I was trying to make myself remember them.

It’s funny, it was a term that my mother would use. I’ve never heard anyone else say it. Have you got your gum boots? she’d ask, not wellingtons or wellies. And more often than not the words or phrases that she’d favour made them less palatable to me. I’m sorry for that now. Gum boots seemed to speak of the flappy, floppy-ness of them. Maybe it was the way she’d say such things, in a rather accusatory way, and sharply. I could not like them afterwards. I wish I’d been kinder, warmer inside towards her. She made my nerves jangle. It wasn’t her fault. We didn’t suit her and I. Forgive me.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.