On the Seventh Day of Christmas, we bring you Claire Crowther, Sue Finch, Sue Wallace-Shaddad

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Party

Falling or rising, staring at my feet,
being so close
to the person who shares the lift –
not wanting to
see whose foot fixes against mine, who stops.
Look at me, girl,
when I’m talking to you. An address to
fair game in hell.

St Michael and the seven headed beast
join their battle
in the lift of heaven, from where a beast
must fly or fall
as must a boy who is feather-winged and
contented with
decapitating seven snarling heads.
We overlap
in a world of falling angels: heads, jaws,
claws, toes, tongues, swords.
Watch wings and tail make one oval, Michael’s
cloak wrap lightly
round the dragon, her biting with her fourth jaw
since her sixth and
seventh heads are severed. Barbara,
saint of arms, here
where your sanctioned guns tumble down, hear who
felled me head first.

He locked the door
and turned the music up. My drink was spiked
with Quaaludes or
something. They queued outside. Mike is no saint,
that tale’s a myth.
If I drop, my family fails with me,
their future falls
prey: kneel, pray for all drunk stumbling men.
They laughed so much.

 

 

Claire Crowther has published three collections of poetry with Shearsman. Her next publication will be a pamphlet of poems on knitting from Happenstance. www.clairecrowther.co.uk

 

 

 

His Gun

He shoots.
She is falling,
staggering,
clutching herself.
Her hip seems to disappear,
she stumbles, hits the floor, stills.
He watches
so silent he stops the air from moving.
her closed eyes flicker to find him.
He searches his words.
They both stare at it hanging from his limp hand.
He meets her gaze, speaks:
It’s just a banana, he tells her.

 

 

Sue Finch grew up in Herne Bay. She now lives with her wife in North Wales and enjoys exploring the countryside and coast. Her first published poem appeared in A New Manchester Alphabet in 2015 whilst studying for her MA with Manchester Metropolitan University. Her work has also appeared in Ink Sweat and Tears and in The Interpreter’s House. She tweets as @soopoftheday and her blog can be found at: soopoftheday-soo.blogspot.com

 

 

 

The Lodger

Every bit of holly
every red berry
a sharp reminder
of pain
and pleasure
as Christmas moves in

another season
of good will
strained cheer
mince pie indulgence
before this guest
bows out to New Year.

 

 

Sue Wallace-Shaddad has poems published by The French Literary Review, Ink Sweat and Tears, Poetry Space, The Dawntreader.  She is studying the Newcastle University/Poetry School MA in Writing Poetry and is Secretary of Suffolk Poetry Society.

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