The Origami Woman

Yesterday, I was the fighter

plane that nose-dived from

our son’s grasp, face crumpling

against the sofa cushions.


Today, I’m the mute swan

you string from the ceiling:

paddling the air with invisible

feet, making waves.


Tomorrow, I suspect I’ll be the lily,

centrepiece serviette, unmade

in your greasy fingers;

daubed in ketchup;

my spine double-twisted

like a sweet wrapper

around that piece

of gristle you spit out.


I always hoped to be

a sailing-boat: to float

the light recalling

every part of me

I ever lost in folds.


I’d flame like a lantern

and then let go,

caressing the night

with starry fingers,

my face a lit moon

among a thousand cranes.

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