Chicken Ship

by Lydia Towsey

long ago,
in a place
far, far away from here
I knew this girl --
who tried to
make a break for freedom
by making herself small --
thin, inconsequential --
so tiny she’d be able
to slip through nets
and weave escape,
like tuna.
This girl,
she made her body narrow --
like a ship of sticks
and pitched herself
into the mint green water.
She set her head against the wind
and let her dry hair lift.
She folded up
her spindly arms,
her legs, her feet
like broken chicken wings,
but she forgot --
chicken cannot fly
and chicken do not swim
and so she sank.
Misplaced maps
of calorie counters
and scales for weighing fish,
pills for dieting
floating up like flotsam.
Debris from a wreckage.
This girl, skin like sail
stretched tight across her
skull and
crossed bones,
cracked and bleeding
like a crushed stone,
reeling from the impact --
this girl, belatedly
she got to thinking:
maybe this was not the way
to getting free.

Lydia Towsey writes poems. In 2007 she was commissioned to write and perform for the prestigious Freedom Showcase. In 2008 she has performed at the Big Session and Summer Sundae music festivals and been invited to participate in Theatre Royal Stratford East’s International Festival for Emerging Artists. She is featured poet in Coffee House Magazine and her writing has appeared in a number of other places. Lydia coordinates and comperes the UK , Leicester poetry night, WORD! She is currently completing her first solo collection and developing work for a new, UK wide touring showcase. Her favourite fruit is the lychee. She dislikes pomegranates. She has a website here.

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