My Father’s Umbrella



Umbrellas shelter you from the rain

Umbrellas have metal spokes

Umbrellas open and close

Umbrellas are carried by business men in bowler hats

Mary Poppins flies with an umbrella


Eagles are birds of prey

Eagles soar high over mountains

Eagles have broad wings

Eagles are powerful and symbolise protection


Eagles shelter you from the rain

Eagles have metal spokes

Eagles open and close

Eagles are carried by businessmen in bowler hats

Mary Poppins flies with an eagle

Umbrellas are birds of prey

Umbrellas soar high over mountains

Umbrellas have broad wings

Umbrellas are powerful and symbolise protection

Secret Truth:

My Father’s Umbrella.

My father left his umbrella. I keep it in my room. It perches on the end of my bed, its bone handle a hooked beak, its black wings furled. Sometimes, I take it to bed with me and clutch it to my chest. I release the poppered catch and let the fabric flap over me, its thin spokes rigid, like ribs.

I think about my father out in the rain, hair slicked to his scalp and shivering, rain-blind, calling for his umbrella.

And I imagine myself jumping from the window, the umbrella open above me to catch the howling wind. We lift high over the streets, into the broad wet sky, and to the mountains, where we glide. One hand on the handle, the other free, so we can dive when we see him and swoop him up.
Bring him home.

Mairead Robinson writes flash fiction at her home in the South West, UK, when she isn’t being bothered by her dog, her cat, and all other things that aren’t flash fiction. Her stories can be found in Ellipsis Zine, Full House Literary and some other places. She tweets @Judasspoon and skeets