Poetry from Lauren Ainslie



You stand, still and calm,

waiting for me,

waiting for something.

The proud ridges curving above your eyes make you look disapproving,

I am not in the mood to be disapproved.


There is dust on your scalloped feathers, dust in the crevices of your eyes.

Your short wick is clean and whole, the crown of your head smooth and unmelted.

Even as a child I knew not to disturb your beauty

and you have waited since then.


Waited with your yellow wings folded at your side,

And the thought of you melting away without ever flying

made the dust settle like first snow.


I am afraid to pick you up,

afraid that the warmth of my hands will smudge

your delicate wax feathers.


You are a blessing, but a sad one,

because I do not need you

I will never light you

but you look nice amongst my books.