The Change

I wasn’t going to come to the party
but you threw bright covers over the noisy magpies

who were pecking all the grain – there are still
scratch marks on the carpet where they learnt

to dance the watusi whilst pretending to be hip.
And we were in the bathroom, again, pissing away

laughter and editing our war plan, turning childhood
into undercover surveillance. Wait for the sign

you said and we’ll show everyone we’re just kids.
The other side knew, of course, kept shooting

fireworks into crowded rooms, or filling balloons
with helium so our voices floated into the sky.

We put on better disguises, small talk, cocktails,
a black dress so ubiquitous we were beautiful

covering our scuffed knees with fishnets
and dirty talk. Some of us gave birth

and the baby birds were so loud we hid in the bushes
smoking our dreams and blowing smoke rings

through the gaps in the hedge. I knew
what you meant, of course, those crazy metaphors

of yours woven into the bottom of the nests
with the moss and the silver foil. Wait

for the sign you said. Keep it tucked
in your marrow with the matches. This party

is going to end all parties. You’ll know
when, you said. You’ll know.



Based in Devon, Hannah Linden has been published widely including in Atrium, Lighthouse, Magma, Proletarian Poetry, Strix, The Interpreters’ House and the 84 Anthology etc. She has just finished editing her first collection, ‘Wolf Daughter’.