The Help by Elaine Baker


Elaine Baker mentors young writers in her role as Patron of Writing in local schools. She runs a poetry evening class and has taught at The Poetry School, London. Elaine is currently Poet in Residence at the Vale & Downland Museum, Wantage, Oxfordshire. She enjoys performing her poetry and has collaborated with musicians the Oxford Improvisers. Her poetry has been widely published including in Proletarian Poetry, Envoi, Mslexia, Brittle Star and The North. She has an MA in Writing Poetry.

Twitter: @kitespotter


















I am the Help. You need me

so I’m squeezing through

this narrow gap. See

how I compress, who knew


my head could shrink

like this! And it throb

throbs so fat I think

it can’t possibly fit


through that gap

but it does, and I know

this because as I collapse

I see the rest of me


go past: deflated dummy.

And when I hear me speak

I’m a bad juggler. Un-

funny. I think that I might


be some kind of

girl with a tail and a pin

in her hand, blind,

reaching for the flat animal


while everyone looks on.

Stretching out I feel around,

guess this is the wrong

side of the gap so I


start to use my eyes

but then I hear: Help

and I’m turning inside

out as you push me


back my hair stuffing

into my torso

my nails locking

into my palms.



Elaine Baker