Metamorphosis NINETEEN

Posted on 20th May, 2019

Day 19



Fireflies - Catriona Yule


You kept his walking stick


by the back door for years


even though he’d departed


true to form: early, few words.


One night sparks drifted across


the garden fence like fireflies 


I watched as the wood spat


on the fire, your eyes glinting


through the flames.




Magpie : Carolyn Yates


The first thing I hear is you, Magpie boy. I assume you are male with that raucous rattle, the way you strut your black and white stuff along the branch, catching me in the spot of your laser eye.  One for sorrow.

I watch you grasping the branch, pausing to check where I am, rattling out your challenge. 

I watch you hop and roll to the end of the branch where it dwindles to a twig, flying up to the next branch just as your weight begins to give it too much flex. 

I watch until my head tilts back and I don’t want to watch anymore. 

As if you sense the loss of interest in your audience of one you take a sudden looping flight away along the alley to the next leafless tree. 

As you land an old woman opens the yard gate below your perch. She’s struggling with a blue plastic bag full of newspapers, it’s almost dragging along the muddy sets. You are quiet. For a beat, we watch her dump the bag by the green wheelie bin and flip its lid. 

Then you give you bitter laugh, magpie boy, and she looks up and smiles. She sees me and nods, bends and heaves up the bag. I see her ankles thin as a girl’s in maroon woollen tights, and her wrist as thin as the branch you squat on. 

“Can I help?” I say. She replies “Thank you, I can do it. Look” and she shows me how the plastic handle on the base of the bag lets her grip and tip. She’s as proud of that handle as if she’d invented it herself. You call out again as you fly up higher. Goodbye magpie boy I think as I walk past them both, out of the alley. 



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