I am as useless as a coronet,
have lost a shoal of bloodied runts.
Who shall assist me?

Perhaps a ripe and red-faced
peasant with more brats
than she can raise.

I need her shoes,
I need a charm to stick
what quickens to its cage.

Perhaps the retching servant girl we
put away once her belly swelled.
Or you: with a brood already, lioness.

Your shoes, near my own in size and elegance –
not brutal things for labouring –
caress your white feet, so dainty.

Wearing them, I will know your shape,
that noble arch, feel the pink shells
of your toenails’ impressions.

I need just one mewling infant
to stride a man, to rule this jostle
of land and trade. Just one.



Fiona Theokritoff has recently completed her MA in Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University, and works as a creative writing tutor. Her work has appeared in Mslexia, The Interpreter’s House and Under the Radar.