Three poems | by Natalie Crick

​Autumnal Gems
Branches shudder in growth.

Roots twist and suck.
The ground dapples.

Shoots rise:
Soft, lush,

A pulsing thing 

Exposed to wind,
Exhaled into open sky,

Forgotten, ghosted. 
Russet leaves catch the light

Open mouthed as infants
High on sugar,

Passing out,
Their glutinous gems

A promiscuous showering of treats. 

Night is an open mouth.

Her touch minnows the water,
Whispers leaves as if

Through lace to some
Forbidden ear, 

Combs my hair with glassy fingers,
A memory of her breath

Heard beneath the door,
The warmth apparent

That haunts her absent lungs. 
Ghosts are there to see by.

You remember. 

I scrub mouse blood from the floorboards

Imagining ice,

Imagining throats.

The dead stay dead. 
A necked Swan

Sits disgraced,

The pale bone poking through, a 

Sword rising from a lake

Sharp and still sheathed. 

The bone is so white

I could have carved

It from wax,

Soft as bees,

A candle without a flame. 
Forever Winter, the sky

Looks cold, pink as a clot

In the mouth

When the lights go out. 

Natalie Crick, from the UK, has poetry published or forthcoming in a range of journals including Ink in Thirds, The Penwood Review, Interpreters House, The Chiron Review and Rust and Moth. This year her poem, ‘Sunday School’ was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. 


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