by Iona Mandal aged 13


This is a cesspool of worship.
Dirty and invisible.
The elderflowers look like nuns,
servile and bathing in the holy light.
of the moon.

At the boundary of the magic circle
is a stray flower.
It has managed to escape the spotlight.
It is dark.
It has sinned.

There is a flower that stands in the middle,
taller than the rest, and,
feeding on the moon’s beautiful lies.
The moon sheds more light on it.
It is blinding.

The moon is a judge,
wig-less, skinless and faceless white.
Its craters mark its hollow eyes.
It wears a cape of pollution.

I am court itself.
I look to see who is watching.
I calculate my reactions.
The elderflowers are defendants,
chaste and guilty.

In the window, the moon is dim.
It looks fragile like cellophane.
The elderflowers have no shadow in this light.
The wind points them up and bows them down,
in figurative confusion.
Like monks weeping in the Dissolution,
they embody justice.

The Poetry Zone

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