• Maggie Butt


Doll’s Hospital


Her fingers sucked and nibbled in my bed
arm split from pit to elbow, leg from groin
to knee, result of too much bathing, loving,
dressing and undressing, her skin’s material
not plastic as its name but vulnerable as mine.

Then toy shops understood: a lady in nurse’s
uniform took the beloved. No visiting allowed.
The restless nights with useless furry substitutes:
gold teddy, pink rabbit, growly bear. None fit
against my side, warm to my touch, listen.

And then she’s home. Unbandaged. But the new
prosthetic limbs are wrong. Too pink, too hard,
the fingers posed and stiff. I take the damaged
arm and leg from tissue. Change them back.
Prefer her broken self to false repair.



Blue Moon


Sometimes the day you long for turns as sour
as month-old yak’s milk, while the one you dread
blows in with floral breath. And this New Year
as party plans cocked-up, I sulked, remembered
past Lang Syne’s, champagne and fireworks,
Trafalgar Square, arms linked with laughing friends,
and year-two-thousand skies which flared and sparked
as we danced in the street at era’s end.

Instead, the glowing coals and Christmas tree and you,
loaned telescope and moon so bright it made
the frosted garden ghostly day; a blue
moon which will gleam as other New Years fade,
till last, beyond my gate of ribs will be
this burnished full moon, at the core of me.


Note: A blue moon is an ‘extra’ full moon in years that have 13 full moons.