Evenings she puts on her second-best hat
skewered with a tortoise shell pin,
buttons up her heart in a mauve mohair coat
sallies forth to pick a bone with the moon.
On the red-leaded step she scans the stars
imagines them white sparks from his hammer.
Her heart is fierce: keen as his chisel,
weighs like a bag of four inch nails.
In her pocket she carries a fistful of humbugs
matches, twenty Players Weights.
She recalls the black kettle on stand-by on the stove
hears the voice of the clock in the hall.
On her tongue, a retort fit to slice a man open.
In her head, a dozen what ifs.
Abigail Elizabeth Ottley writes poetry and short fiction from her home in Penzance. She has been published in a wide range of journals and anthologies, and is currently working on her first novel. Find her on Facebook and Twitter @AbilgailLaLoca.