Once, before the time she fell
she didn’t know there was a spell.
Then, upon the line she knelt
peering deep into the welt
she wished the grounds would melt
for what she felt would not stay sheltered.
Belts unbuckled, the pelt she’d been dealt shuddered.
It was there, on the very tip of her tongue
a piece of rung, sung from the lung.
Yes, there, it tiptoed toppled out – toad.
It hopped about whilst others shouted, clouted.
The second time, it tick tock tickled the same
yet stone cold dead it lay, drawing red lines of pain.
This dime-and it cost her more than that- rock.
It clattered whilst others scrabbled, grappled.
Then she kept zipped, clipped.
Tried to smuggle ships.
So for round three, when teeth grit had been ground free, out seethed…
snakes and lakes, a bunch of grapes
holey holly wreathes, a shadow’s grief,
shrugs and flails and puppy dog nails,
sweet and sour and bits of flowers,
last of all, the hand holding – and here, she stuttered – h-h-h-ours.
Things splattered, shattered, scattered
at her w-w-were they words.
So now she tries to slide the worst
out of sight where lives won’t burst
keep her mouth unburnt
but boundaries are made in dirt
and dust won’t settle till all her petals
go with her to the quaking earth.