Here names hide in the leaves
like scorpions, ambush you unawares
in the middle of the morning. Names
which scorch, their voices silent.
And what to do? Ink out?
Obliterate? The violence of night.
A truth too far.
Tippex would cover them as graves
in snow, a bump of scar tissue
reminding of the wound it hides.
A simple cross then, furled white sails
of evening, beyond which the name
remains, glimpsed as through a gate,
which opens to another time, another world.
(From petite (Hearing Eye) 2010)
Maggie Butt’s fifth poetry collection was Degrees of Twilight (The London Magazine 2015). She is an Advisory Fellow for the Royal Literary Fund and an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Middlesex University where she’s taught Creative Writing since 1990. Previously, she was a journalist and BBC TV documentary producer. www.maggiebutt.co.uk