I thought I was doing them properly, the way
you’re supposed to, crayoning out raw shapes
that were, if not quite exactly lollipops, then
certainly something lickable, perhaps clouds
of candy floss wound onto sticks, or ice cream.
I filled them in with a pistachio green to avoid
any ambiguity, ticking in a circle of birds above,
a butterfly the size of a moose. A sun, smiling.
Those, she told me would lose their leaves
in the autumn, spend fingerbone winters naked
and heartless. She didn’t say why. I didn’t ask.
Hers were drilled brigades of triangles, isosceles,
getting smaller towards the top of the page
to suggest distance, within which you could
see each and every Starbucks needle, every
chocolate-coloured cone a dangling reproach.
first published in Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine Anthology, 2017