Playing Dead

The tree has fallen

in the middle of the yard,


cracked to quarters

during last night’s storm


which played its elegy

then left in a rush.


The angry lover flips

land on its back,


leaves the earth a stripped

and stained mattress.


Rain has reduced a crab

nestled by broken bark


to a small shell

rotting in the midday heat.


Children gawp

at its glistening armour,


imagine its claws break

men like molluscs,


then piece its home together,

splint by splint.


A gardener finally

announces its condition


to stop them photographing

the battered form


anyone could have

mistaken to be sleeping


lives in London, where she has worked in TV, film and publishing. She graduated from Oxford's Creative Writing MSt in 2018 and has a poem forthcoming in Wasafiri.


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