Talisman

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By Jenny Middleton

We strung the paradise of those days
together as if they were shark’s teeth
threaded onto a leather lace
to be worn as a talisman forbidding tomorrow’s bite.

Each tooth having already eaten all other
shy, creeping terrors, before its own fall
from a blooded jaw to the quietness of a fossil
amongst a cathedral of cavernous bones
waiting to be plucked.

Now rooms are bare of that glory – hollowed
and we feel as skeletal as those displays
hanging in galleries where they sell,
for a few pounds, pendants
like the one we made all those years ago.

The new light ghosted with shadows slipping
between youth and the spill of age,
as if time was a toy spun carelessly in a Zoetrope,
then stilled again to individual images
that perhaps we can still hold.

             
“The last stanza of this poem sums up why I write – life can seem uncontrollable, like a child’s toy spinning recklessly, I write to still that spin.” – the writer

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