Patterns of women

Girls in short shorts;

legs like shotgun barrels

sequestering any kind of desirability that

youth and beauty are prerequisites to relevance;

an auspice for being.


Flying high over an echo,

the girls want not to be dead heroes as they amble

through gutters choked with locks of hair

from the children they will never see.


Hands bunched in pockets,

they stand outside their local museum of purgatory

as a concierge would.

Gales of laughter rip through idle air;

fainéant in their falls of sound.


They seek the moon and shun the sun

and eyes dash about like hunted hares

waiting to be shot in a wood of time lost.


Though the ticking hand of life is a hair-trigger,

they are fond of predicting when they will fall off the edge of the world;

their pink legs swinging, skin a galaxy of scars,

singing, I am the verse: bleed, stitch, repeat.


But they are mothers; they are animals.

And animals are women

with their swills of tears and breasts piled high;

cauterised souls, brains braided from too many pills.

They would sooner crawl into the sun than fall from the tree.


One walks the hem of earth, shutting off the lights

readying for the tacenda that will come.

Not today, she says. Perhaps another time.


I have:

fought my own shadow of the Shibboleth

descried the call for a goon

cast my eyes upward to see the branches of winter trees,

mottled with snow like a convivial pulse having fallen

from the sky with an empty wind not far behind.


For now, you must swing low; scooping fistulas of memory

to shake the tree with the eagles nest.

Knowing there is no holiday for the dead

(for it hurts to walk into a chapel)

that stepping stone was never made for your feet,

for we were always going to be hurt by the things we never saw coming.

2 thoughts on “Patterns of women

    1. Lea! I’m so happy you had that primal response – I guess that’s the aim of the game as a writer. Thanks for you kind words yet again – you’ve given me a real boost! xoxo


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