Jane McKie
Biographical Note

Jane McKie’s first collection, Morocco Rococo (Cinnamon Press), was awarded the 2008 Sundial/Scottish Arts Council prize for best first book of 2007. Her other publications include When the Sun Turns Green (Polygon, 2009), and Garden of Bedsteads (Mariscat, 2011), which was a Poetry Book Society pamphlet choice. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh.


Lost in birch forest.
I keep thinking, she can’t have gone far,
the trees are so thin and she’s
as big as a wolf.
Those trunks, slalom poles
set in furious motion
by a beast at speed,
whicker with intent.
I cut both wrists
trying to beat them off.
My breath exits as icicles,
shatters at my feet.

The only horizontal shape
is in my mind: a feral girl
curled on earth, a coverlet
of leaves. I would give
a knucklebone, a kidney,
to rewind to toddlerhood,
the hills and dales of her curls,
before she could scale
a post bare of limbs,
see everything from up there,
kill her own supper.

She might be watching me,
not lost at all.

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