I crawled out
from the wound in your spine.

I had clung to your chill,
stung there feebly like a
starved blue wasp for years,
drinking in your blood and
little thrills you ate.

I took from you
three stolen veins
to mould my lips
and an ulcer sliced into
the shape of an eye.

I slow cooked,
supped a soup of my own bone-brew.
Rolled my hips, splayed my knees.
The thorn of my tongue I knew
would be useful somewhere.  

My face grew, the muddled soft
aspects drifting into place like a
slow wet fog. Speech was slack,
dread making me dull. I heard
the voice of God inside me.

I crawled out, you did not see me
behind you. My limbs burst into
loud red flowers. How I ran and screamed.
A fly floated out of my mouth
and up to the kitchen ceiling.

Garden Witch

The larks are swollen and the earth is sunken
but filling. Everything is filling, the larks
are swelling. Could this be Springtide?
I plant small spruces in the borders
with my thick green gloves.

The blue grasses are bluer and breaking
and they remind me of your hair.
I conjure fertility; plant Hazel, Hawthorn,
knead breath from the dirt to fill me.
When I conjure rain I pray
the trees die before it falls.

I pause for lunch. A hundred crows
darken the sky: a cloud of ink dimming
the lawn. Some jabber in the arms of the
old ash tree where I hang herbs, start fires.  
A crow glides into the mouth of the binding candle:
a black glistening match, burning.

The afternoon unfolds as I’d planned. 
I plant body after body
with my thick green gloves.
There is life and death in spring.
The dogs next door are starting to bark.
I go inside to stir the broth to fill me.

Natalie Crick, from Newcastle in the UK, has poetry published or forthcoming in Interpreters House, Poetry Scotland, The Moth, Bare Fiction, The Honest Ulsterman, Expound, The Chiron Review, New Contrast, The Manchester Review, Lighthouse, Poetry Salzburg Review, New Welsh Review and elsewhere. She is studying for an MA in Writing Poetry at Newcastle University (UK) and is currently taught by Tara Bergin, Sinéad Morrissey and Jacob Polley. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize twice, shortlisted for The Anthony Cronin International Poetry Award 2018 and one of her poems was a runner-up in the PBS & Mslexia Women’s Poetry Competition 2018, judged by UK poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy.