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Ironing feathers by Marion Oxley

Ironing feathers

She knelt in the crucible of bone.

Flames tonguing her length of femur

breathed deeply and felt safe

in this rosary bead universe


in some unknown weathered grip.

Overhead the ovoid sky was smooth,

unruffled and speckled with stars.

Blood red rivulets pulsed

and swelled. She counted


stepping over, the pavement fell away.

Smoke curled inside nostrils, ready

rubbed, Whiskey Flake packed and

tapped, cradled in the palm.

Naked, head heavy on neck


split, sooted shoulder blades rose.

She heard him raking the fire.

Another dawn had come. Somewhere

mother ironed golden feathers.

Tooth-hooked, bone cracked


up. Air sucked, sun-struck, ignited.

Marion Oxley is originally from Manchester but has lived for the last twenty odd years in the Calder Valley , West Yorkshire. She is widely published in anthologies and journals both online and in print. Her debut pamphlet In the Taxidermist’s House was published by 4Word Press in October last year. She lives with Alice her boisterous Staffordshire Bull Terrier and has other family in the Republic of Ireland.


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