Literary Yard

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‘Ornament’ and other poems

By Christian Ward 


At birth, mother placed me 
in a terrarium on the shelf.
I learnt to get shade
under the succulents,
gather water from condensation,
feed on whatever nutrients 
circulated like poems in the air.
I sung out of boredom,
watched the cork night rarely change.
Rarely did I consider escaping
as I found my father’s corpse,
still as a Buddha, in the base.
Look how the outside world 
dons a coat of dust while I am kept 
in mint condition – a collectible 
to be carefully handed down.


Summer is caught
in the throat 
of a mothering robin,
ready to be flown 
when sunlight teases
through the trees,
and the rain is a note
to be returned to sender.

the slap

the slap’s 
was heard 
across skies
across the sun 
across mountains
across forests

kids in towns
fell to their knees 
before fast forwarding
into adults 
dogs howled
& turned into statues 
cats meowed, 
shifted into fish

the moon became 
a bowling ball 
& knocked down 
the stars

the mother 
who dealt it
could be heard
weeping for years 
after she was gone

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