Sue Kindon – three poems

Murmuration

Starlings all the rage
corkscrew binocular cloud
pirouetting libertine waltz
uncorseted
a wasp-waist flotilla
swingboats off their rocker
swirling jitterbug migraine
on the rampage

bringing a tear behind the lens

for the lone toddler
who made landfall.

Small island:

everyone loves a pretty pattern
written in tea leaves but
we don’t have room in our sky.

Put the kettle on let them dance
in some body else’s horror film
birds of a foreign feather swarm.

Roll out the silver biscuit barrel,
the astronomic wire fence.
No room.


Answering to my Married Name

When they summon me as Mrs X
in some magazineless waiting room
with wooden benches, I half expect to smell
her peppermint-tobacco breath behind me;
when I turn, I see her flicking ash
as she anticipates my next dropped aitch.

She stoops to pick it up and gives it back,
plucking a stray hair from my cardigan.
She flounces into the consulting room
ahead of me and lies down on the couch.
I cower in the chair and gird myself
to speak of women’s troubles as discretely
as I can. The doctor booms his verdict.
The older Mrs X lights up and smirks.

She walks me to the chemist’s, fag in mouth,
lecturing me on the ouch of sex.


His ‘n Hers

My other half – as good as dead now –
once said to me – and he wasn’t joking –
that men and women
feel emotion differently.
My love’s not the same
as yours, he’d claim in spring.
And we’re not talking physical here
or are we? That prickly chestnut.

Maybe he just paid lip service
to the hearts and flowers thing,
for fox scent in high summer.
Was nothing sacred, for fuck’s sake?
Did he have the decency
to close his eyes when we kissed?
My seasons didn’t shift, but there was he
winking over my shoulder at the next.

I know women like that, too.
I know women who get angry,
as I am now. Is that so different
to your Man Anger I want to shout,
before he goes to ground.
I want to knock our seed pod heads
together. He just nods.
Like I told you, he’s dead.


Sue Kindon lives and writes in The Pyrenees. She graduated from Hull University in English and French and became a bookseller, specialising in botanical books. These days, she and her husband run Valier Illustrated Books, giving her the opportunity to handle some beautiful tomes, many of which are “Livres d’Artiste” illustrating French poetry.

Sue’s work has appeared in Magma, The North, Obsessed with Pipework, Rialto, Antiphon, Prole, French Literary Review, Popshot and others.

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