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Claire Hughes: a poem


I am the magpie of broken things,

I will not be contented with golden rings or silver spoons,

I refuse to be blinded by the sunlit shine of diamonds and

I will never adorn pearls that burn like silver,

So I throw them out.

Watch them fall and crack like eggs.

Into twigs and leaves I weave the dying

Dandelion that lived in the egg cup;

Add our stone collection, cardboard castles,

Sea shore shells, fridge magnets and the novelty

Socks you got me for every birthday.

I wrap each strand around the cracked spine

Of Peter Pan.

Yes, I rescued him. Lifted him from the rubbish heap

Where he lay after failing to lull you to sleep,

When you abandoned the quest to remain a boy


I stitch every dull treasure with the loose thread of

Memory and tie them together with one of my own

Clipped feathers. Weighed down by fingerprints,

My construction leaves me with nothing more than an

Empty nest.

Claire Hughes is a Birmingham-born writer who now lives in Staffordshire. She recently achieved her MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and was published in Oxford Brookes' anthology My teeth don't chew on shrapnel.


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