Girls’ Book of Model Making

In the pages of the outdated annual she found it, the bird
with terracotta wings. Like the little fish
beside it, it knew nothing of trouble and its hellish
landscape, its weight on the scales like some absurdly
growing thing.
The bird seemed perfect, submerged
for ever in the womb that was the best
idea of bird: fields, canals and schist
seen from the air, and trouble barely heard.

Girls then wore their hair in shining helmets
and their brothers rushed across the lawn to swim
out from the shadows, from the stifling willows
between the wars.
But now the world seemed different,
the birds, the fish, the sorrow. One hundred and one things
to make of it and all she feared might follow.

from Over (Carcanet, 2009), © Jane Draycott 2009, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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