Two Poems by Lisa Kelly

Window on the Garden

Memory, my dear Cecily, is the diary that we all carry about with us.
– Oscar Wilde

The coal tit is being purposefully
epigrammatic,
its terse flight from hedge
to bike handlebar,
and seemingly off
only to be back on the bike briefly.

So many false promises
of departure, playing
with finality like a conifer seed
in its nippy beak, it revels
in its mastery of reprieve
with flippant swerves,

in a black bow tie and wing collar,
it deflects
each drawn-out ending,
a sunflower seed
raided from a forgotten hoard.
Passerine bird
with three toes facing forward,
and one backward –

able to cling to the vertical
without falling out
of the picture,
you are impossible to frame. This urge
to cup you like a soft bollock and squeeze,
is wrong, in a nutshell

but your pithy nature;
the impossibility of boiling down
spirit into sweetmeat
makes a play of thwarted possession:
agog to count
the freckles on your eggs
in their nest in a mouse hole,
to pop one in my mouth
and keep it forever, far from teeth.

 

 

Mammogram

This sky ceiling has been kindly donated
by Patricia Madden Cancer Trust

Look up sister! Six blue squares,
but only one is clear, as cirrus clouds
permanently gather in the other five.
Look at the poster sister! A man
manages colour-coded strings,
so his gown doesn’t gape.
Look down sister! Flip
through a torn magazine.
See the ads: Breast Feeding is Best;
How to Enhance a Small Cleavage.
Look this nurse straight in the eye sister!
Smile. What are the odds you’re next?
Attention sister! All mammography patients
please remove deodorant or talcum powder
from the upper half of your body.
Look sister! If you have sensitive
breasts, this may hurt. Look up sister!
Outside, a black sky hangs open,
the moon impersonates a breast.

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