St. Lucia

by Helen Ogden

I hold up the torch light,
when they take her shuddering and strange
from her bed, toes dragging against wooden splinters, head
                                  hung low.

She seems separate
in that billowing shift, the look she gives me.
A maiden of God, they fasten her body up, afraid the spirit
will curdle their skin, turn them.
                                  She reaches out, a muddy line under her nails.

Her throat sliced open, skin folded back,
rivulets of blood around her shoulders.
'This is me' I hear her say, as they run the tip of the blade over her eyelashes.
                                  'This is me' as they carve out her coralline eyes.

Helen Ogden says:

"I am a 27 year-old writer living in Yorkshire, England currently studying for a creative writing MA at Sheffield Hallam University. I have had poetry published in Orbis, Eclipse, Gold Dust, Little Blue World, Brittle Star, Iota and Aesthetica. I was also a finalist in the Writers and Artists Yearbook Novel Competition 2007 with my work in progress 'Of Scarlet'.

I would have to say my favourite fruit is the apple (and anything apple related - crumble, pie, sweet apple sours, cider etc)."

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