Yvonne Reddick

2 Poems



She sails her beech-mast from the woods
to Cairo Mill, burrows into darkness
under Sun Hill,
resurfaces to rock
the cemetery in the crook
of an oxbow.

Winter floods stirred her from her bed –
she turned
grave-robber, coal-hauler.
Ran underground.
She’s the night-sweat
locked in the stadium’s cellar.

You walk between feverfew and glib blossom
fretting about the fragile branches
of your sister’s lungs.
On the other bank
someone slams their door
on a yell.
Home has its own thorns and hemlock.

The red river coughs up bottles, cans, dead
toys. She must swallow
every drain in Failsworth.

Rotten walls, prehistoric with horsetails
and bird’s nest fern. Yellow fever of charlock,
water clotting on draggled plastic.

Midstream, a dirty silver shadow
by the beat of its fins.
Flank dappled garnet, onyx,
flash –

A wren’s alarm-cry.
That torn-off mask on a willow branch.



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