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Katy Simpson - Against nature


Against nature


Harry’s first steps. Alfie’s fourth birthday. Isla riding without stabilisers. Molly sighs. Is there nothing else on Facebook but friends’ kids? Here - a Springwatch live webcam link. She opens the page. A nest of three chiffchaffs, mouths open, squawking for their parents’ return. Molly closes her laptop, throws on her boots, desperate to escape her eggless nest.


She climbs into the forest, past bluebells, cowslip, and ferns. She hears the echoing call of a thrush and raises her binoculars. Eyes locked on the bird, she doesn’t notice a mum dragging two kids down the path, squawking for snacks. The mum cracks, snaps; Molly turns her head and smiles.



Katy Simpson teaches at a university in the North East of England. She writes poems, short stories, and is currently working on a novel. She enjoys taking part in NaNoWriMo and creative writing groups.


How writing has affected Katy's wellbeing: Writing has accompanied me on some of the most difficult journeys including being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and coming to terms with not having children. Stories and poems have been loyal friends, helping me to feel connected to others in the same situation. Feeling heard and hearing others’ experiences is the best medicine out there, whether you’re love-sick, grieving, or struggling with an internal conflict that makes you feel intensely alone. Words can cut through that, whether they’re your own words or belong to someone else.

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