Mucky fingers

A wild daffodil bulb wilts at my feet
dug up by a dog.
I scrape my fingers into the loam,
resettle it in the riverbank.

At twilight, two children crouch over
a fish – it flaps on the path.
the boy digs into the wound with his light fingers,
scrapes at the scales, puts his mouth to the hole,
bites and sucks out the life of the fish.

Darkness, a fruit in my hands.
Fingers jab into the peel,
pluck the pith,
dismember the body.
Toss it away.

The juice on my hands
is acid grief.



Hélène Demetriades is a poet and psychotherapist living in South Devon.  Her debut collection The Plumb Line is published by Hedgehog Press (February 2022). Last year she was highly commended in the international Poetry on the Lake competition, and short-listed for the Wells Poetry competition.