Her mother seeks her out –
but not in her bed, for she seldom
in the yard maybe, curled up
by a rusting mangle; a grizzled tomcat
nestling in her arms.
Failing that, chance could be she’s in
the coltsfoot by the sycamore tree –
root-bare – ripped, years since
from its umbilical ties by a corridor
of wind – still bemoaning
its shrivelled fruits, echoes
through the darkling scrim, where
voles and dormice make their home
and insects crawl on stones.
God forbid – she be beside
the railway line; seeking the buzz –
the susurrus...cold-steel against her ear...
Look in the cellar, Mother dear,
where lilac-wine seethes and simmers
like the devils brew...
wherein she lies, a-dreaming,
of a princess...a witch, and a spindle;
a pin-prick that hurts...but only a little.