He asks what it’s made from – the smooth, wood-turned bowl
I’ve bought for Christmas, to hold stray coins, cufflinks, fluff,
one lone ear-ring. When I say Maybe ash, he turns it over
in his mind and hands, says Too light for ash…
Then I drift to last Christmas – collecting a heavy
cardboard box that held my father, then back further,
to a light May scattering of Mother-in-Law by a pond,
when the wind blew her back
over black polished shoes. I agree with him –
Yes, it is too light for ash.
Jill Munro’s first collection ‘Man from La Paz’ was published in 2015 by Green Bottle Press. She won the Fairacre Pamphlet Competition 2015 with ‘The Quilted Multiverse’, published April 2016.
White Russian Christmas
In a studio somewhere in the city of Pushkin,
Jessie stands pale-serious
as if in a snow-lit watery dream,
of frost-muffled stillness. Sepia snap.
Her working loom hands are concealed
within sable fur, her shoulders heavy
under a night-black stole which falls in lapels.
She’s wrapped ready for a Christmas sleigh ride
across cotton wool snow – a Catherine the Great still.
Beyond, on the street, traders cry
coal for sale, echoed across frozen ground.
Maggie Mackay, a Scottish lover of jazz and a good malt, is in her final Masters year at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has work in print and online includingThe Everyday Poet edited by Deborah Alma, Amaryllis, Bare Fiction, Indigo Dreams Publishing, The Fat Damsel, The Interpreter’s House, Prole, I am Not a Silent Poet and with Three Drops Press.