Poems by Jane Burn

How to hold a friend’s small hand

take it in your hot paw
it is a hummingbird
a snowdrop
a piece of gold leaf
your breath is a hurricane
might cough it into orbit

palm it
try not to imagine its paleness
try not to feel
you are a bad fairy
crushing petals
in the might of your grasp

try not to imagine the bones of it
she is not a skeleton
with shopping bags
she is telling you that you look well
while her fingers
stick in your grip

how do you hold your friend’s small hand
when it feels all splinters?
her smile seems full of ash
I will see you soon
she says and releases a wave
like a dove

you watch it land gently
roost at her side
sag as if it is tired of the sky
it opens against her skirt pleats
a paper bird
unfolding

Jane Burn is a North East based artist and writer originally from South Yorkshire. Her poems have been featured in magazines such as The Rialto, Under The Radar, Butcher’s Dog, Iota Poetry, And Other Poems, The Black Light Engine Room and many more,  as well as anthologies from the Emma Press, Beautiful Dragons, Poetry Box, Emergency Poet and Kind of a Hurricane Press. Her pamphlets include Fat Around the Middle, published by Talking Pen and Tongues of Fire published by the BLER Press. Her first full collection, nothing more to it than bubbles has been published by Indigo Dreams. She also established the poetry site The Fat Damsel. She was longlisted in the 2014 National Poetry Competition, commended and highly commended in the Yorkmix 2014 & 2015, and won the inaugural Northern Writes Poetry Competition in 2017.