Culverthorpe. At the edge of crumbled furrows
stood the blackthorn, its spring long frothed off,
baring its wizenings, its dark bark and bites.
Blunting them, buffering before winter,
were swirled purples, knucklebone buds. Smaller-fingered,
I plucked them till they sagged our outstretched plastic bag.

At home, the needle pricked like a finch-peck
so the blood slowly threaded the gin. The bottle
was stopped, put away. I would imagine
the nights’ smutchy clutch, the smirr and cinnamon
spring, warmth pawing like a low-burning hearth;
but not a drop of the foretaste – wasted or not –
no trickle some day enriching, giving
in a thin black nib at my fingertips.

Volume  11.2 - December 2018

Iain Twiddy studied literature at university, and lived for several years in northern Japan. His poems have been published in The Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, The London Magazine, The Moth and elsewhere.