What Little Girls Are Made Of
She brushes through web
into grimy, tangled light.
Spiders drop spread-legged
from the roof like stars,
landing on tomatoes.
Greenfly bloom along stems –
she coaxes one onto her finger,
lets it crawl among the butterflies
printed on her summer dress
then grips its wings, turns it on its back
to pluck a waving limb, see the clear drop
emerge from its root.
She peels shells from flowerpots,
waits till they unfurl
and presses each cool body
to her skin. Her mother calls
and she leaves with snails
suckered to her legs like kisses.
Charlotte Eichler’s poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies including The Rialto, Agenda, The Interpreter’s House, And Other Poems, The Emma Press Anthology of Aunts, and Eyewear’s Best New British and Irish Poets 2017. She was commended in the 2016 Battered Moons competition and has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and the Flambard Poetry Prize. She lives in West Yorkshire and works as an editor and medievalist.
(First published in the 2015 Flambard Poetry Prize Anthology)