Two new poems from Heidi Williamson


In a school room, the woodcutter
had come for the children.

Every wolf that he could muster,
the bears, the dwarves, the witches

herded them into the darkened forest.
Once there, they tried to be small

as birds, quieter, one feather
pressed to their beaks.

They practised soaring
against the sound of metal.

The adults began to sing softly,
cooed like infants to still the flapping.

The woodcutter stalked the oaks
and called to them with his shiny voice.

The children lay their heads
beneath their wings and waited


Your snakeskin gloves lie
furled on the hall table.

They’ve nested there
through Spring and Summer.

Now the cold is catching up,
your hands are elsewhere, exposed

or covered by unknown gloves,
unknown hands.

Your gloves are hibernating.
I haven’t the power to wake them.

The hall is a cave I cross
avoiding their slow-pulsed stare.

* Heidi Williamson is a Norfolk-based poet with an interest in science. In 2008-2009 she was poet-in-residence at the London Science Museum’s Dana Centre. In 2008 she received an Arts Council grant to complete her first poetry collection, which is due out from Bloodaxe Books in 2011.

One comment

  1. Anonymous

    Beautiful ennui.

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