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Christina Buckton: a poem

Dead Easy

Running unsteadily towards the arc

of thrown corn she suddenly falters,

totters under the cherry tree

like a clockwork toy losing power

and sinks softly into fallen blossom.

Warm and yielding in the crook of my arm,

her beak opens for more air – such hard lips –

neck feathers a black cape over a white skirt,

a dumpy maid-of-all-work who never

quite got what was going on.

One last leap to dodge death – or maybe

to jump into it – she flutters like a book

falling, pages riffling through

everything she's lived, her eyelids

blinds shutting up shop.

In the evening when I come to bury her

she's transformed into a statue

as if she had decided on herself exactly;

how she would step out to meet

death on her own without the others

who have bullied her, snatched the treats,

left her out and not heard her creaky cry of

wait for me. Now it's dead easy:

her bowed head severe, beak shut,

claws a frozen gesture of conviction.

Christina Buckton lives near Cambridge. She has had various careers in the BBC, in education, counselling and play therapy. After she retired she worked as a educational writer. She has recently started to explore poetry in her eighties. She won On The Buses awards at the Guernsey International Poetry competition in 2018 and 2020. Her poems have been published in The North, Orbis, Stand, Dreich, Fenland Journal, Twelve Rivers, Indigo Dreams Dawntreader and Words for the Wild.


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