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Louise Peterkin: a poem

The Ghost Apple Girl

And then I was the Ghost Apple Girl

awoken to a chill hold of fantastical protocol,

bloom-cheeked, furred. Arrested

in my beauty like a sci-fi collectable.

Each bright day the world was snowed flat;

I was happy in my assignment – love

all but gone now, forgotten

as I made my way to the heirloom trees

which scored the hill like a Calvary.

A riddle, really, for the dropped fruit hung

still, gleaming on the branch.

So careful – with stop

motion movements – I gleaned

the glass globes from their stems,


cold as bibles. Where the flesh

had slipped out, pirate-drunk,

a glittering pulp rose from the ground.

I carried home my delicate harvest.

But every morning: the inevitable flood

where the fire'd licked my yield down to nothing.

So I was compelled to visit, once over again,

the sparse orchard, content

in my belonging, my fingers bell-numb, singing.

Louise Peterkin is a poet from Edinburgh. In 2016 she was a recipient of a New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust in the poetry category. She is the co-editor, along with Rob A. Mackenzie, of Spark: Poetry and Art inspired by the Novels of Muriel Spark (Blue Diode Press, 2018). She is an assistant poetry editor for The Interpreter's House. Her poems have appeared in many publications, including The Dark Horse, The Glasgow Review of Books, Magma and The North, and her first collection of poetry, The Night Jar, is out now, published by Salt.

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