She stands on the lawn, straight-backed,
rocking slightly on bare heels as she feels the ragged dandelion
between her toes — lifts her chin to look
eye-to-eye at the blue-grey face of the mackerel sky —
arms sweep up like wings, hands poised
to conduct the birdsong — hair moves like a shallow wave over rippled sand —
lips part to take a breath of the infant day — grass
laps her ankles and the air through her nightdress strokes her gooseflesh skin
like a gentle hand. She flicks her wrist.
The baton twitches, a spider leg pawing the air between gilded threads
of morning — fence panels rattle — gateposts creak —
the scents of soil and mint and brick and hawthorn rise through her veins —
clouds nudge each other, drift away —
and then — as she holds her pose, as she holds her breath — the sun rises.
[Yorkshirewoman Louise Wilford is an English teacher and examiner. She has had around 50 poems and short stories published in magazines including Popshots, Pushing Out The Boat, and Agenda, and has won or been shortlisted for several competitions. She is currently writing a children’s fantasy novel.]