Lorraine Mariner

Lorraine Mariner lives in London and works as a librarian at The Poetry Library, Southbank Centre. Her collection, Furniture, was published by Picador in 2009 and shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize. Her second collection, There Will Be No More Nonsense, was published by Picador in 2014.


The Deadly Sins and the Holy Virtues – No. 5 Wrath

My father and another man, who is not accompanied by his family, are squaring up to each other in a suburban car park. It’s because of the way my father has parked his canary yellow Volvo. The man is asking my father to move his canary yellow Volvo forward so he can park in the space behind. My father is saying he cannot move his canary yellow Volvo forward, his car will be over the line hanging out into the car park in danger of being hit by other vehicles, it’s not his fault that Volvos have such large bonnets.

My father is telling my mother to take his children away. We are in tears – me, my brother, my sister in my mother’s arms – our father is about to come to blows in Hoppey Hall Car Park! I have only ever glimpsed this thing on television. I want it to be tea time when we will sit and watch The Muppet Show whilst eating hamburgers; my father is a creature of habit but he is also an alpha male which I didn’t know until this moment. When he finds us later in the freezer shop does he have a split lip? I will have to ask my brother. We grow up to hate driving.

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