Gargoyles

When their hearts and bodies
ached, they imagined beings
able to transcend toil
only love made tolerable;
and the hurt, embryonic wings

reluctantly unfolding from
sore shoulders like burgeoning
horse chestnut leaves.
More cloister bat than angel
these mute creatures

summoned in desperation
can’t offer hope or salvation;
but they’ll sit with you all day
though you refuse their comfort –
until you’re less lonely than them.

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An earlier version first published in Ink, Sweat & Tears, August 2017 – with thanks to Editor Helen Ivory. Also in my debut chapbook, Wish (Maytree Press).

Ashes (first pub. by Algebra Of Owls, and in my collection Wish)

The Ash is common enough –
with keys the wind misplaces
and in winter, velvet leaf buds
that recall those long

black gloves I wore,
to trace your trembling
outline – neck to hip
and down a little more.

Its fissured bark is
a history of cuts, as if
the past can be sloughed
like a worn out coat.

As green leaves fell
I glimpsed a woman
in the golden copse,
or maybe a hare.
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First published by Algebra Of Owls 2018