them in the sunken garden.
Quick in the hand, cool to the touch.
Dry thin skin like your grandmothers’ soft
elbow crook. They are each other.
When you don’t pay attention, one becomes several,
several, single. You love them for this.
You fill the boot of your red Raleigh tricycle
until it flexes its walls with their chests.
Lid down, they breathe the dank metal cave;
growing, shrinking, preparing to leap.
Polly Atkin was born in Nottingham, lived
in East London for seven years, and is now based in the North-West
of England. She is currently researching the construction
of meaning around place for a PhD in English and Sociology
at the University of Lancaster. Her pamphlet, 'Bone Song'
(Aussteiger) was published in June 2008.