One Poem by Melanie Branton

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.


The boardwalk is rotten,
the edges peel away,
the veranda pillar spindled,
so thin in the middle
it cannot hold the weight
much longer. But for now
the clapboards hug each other
and keep the warmth in.

She’s had to come out
from behind the screen door,
though the day is bitter.
Shielded by her bobble hat
in team colours, a fleecy thing
the colour of tree moss,
she’s covered up the frayed edges
with homemade piping,
somehow found a safety pin
to pull everything together.

The other has a diamond pin
flaunted redundantly, a feather
in her cap, the froth of fun fur,
double chin. Blisters of pearls
bubble over her ears, her purse
scabbed with rubies, tight-lipped,
clamped shut. She does not know

the importance of everything
overlapping. Clapboard
cladding, wraparound
woollens, one hand splayed
to protect the condemned
bird, the other below
underpins, holds her up.


Melanie Branton is a spoken word artist from North Somerset. Her published collections are Can You See Where I’m Coming From? (Burning Eye, 2018) and My Cloth-Eared Heart (Oversteps, 2017).

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