J V Birch


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I have affairs with ice;
it numbs the tree ablaze on my back.

Branches sear my shoulders,
scorch their way up my neck,

the fiery heart of it blasting
against my thoracic part,

while the rest of my vertebrae
lean slightly off centre

as if trying to escape the back draft.
My spine longs to be a sigh

rather than a question left hanging,
where nerves fizz and spit

through spaces too tight,
waiting for that awkward move,

that twist too far to bring
my world screaming back to me.

After just thirty nine years
I feel the crooked old woman inside

who will beat me into submission
with rheumatoid fists,

while I dream of a return to the womb
back to a comfortable comma.

My husband asks how my day was.
Fine love, how was yours?


J V Birch is a British poet living in South Australia. Her poems have appeared in anthologies, journals and magazines across the UK, Australia, Canada and the US. Her first collection, Smashed glass at midnight, is part of the Picaro Poets series published by Ginninderra Press and her second collection, What the water & moon gave me, is part of the Pocket Poet series also by Ginninderra Press. She blogs at www.jvbirch.com .