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2 poems by Emma Harding


There must have been a house

where today there is a hole.

I’ve walked this street each dawn

for twenty years, but couldn’t say

what stood there once, or the hour

a bulldozer distressed the view.

All day, I am troubled by

this sudden appearance of sky,

the light that has clarified

my life’s lack of attention.

Walking home at sunset

my eyes are pulled to the void

that has conjured a lonely tree

sagging with purple fruit.

Guilty already, I cross the street

and pluck a single plum.

I am not sure why I do this

and the fruit is unripe, bitter,

but I make myself eat it -

rind and flesh and stone.

A spinning

She no longer knows what tales to tell,

transformed into her own bad fairy

spinning a curse at the cradle’s foot.

This life was made with love on a bed

that did not dream of dead birds

or deserts, wars of water and wheat.

So she cleaves her tongue to stories

of science, of simple heroic acts,

of goodness at the heart of things.

What she does not say: the spell

of ice is broken. All the apples

are poisoned and the court is asleep.


Emma Harding’s poems have been published in various magazines and anthologies including Poetry Review, Stand, Magma and The North.


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