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The Flying Ointment For A Besom

 

The girls chant outside

the corner shop:

one, two, buckle my shoe...

three four, knock

at the door...five, six pick up sticks...

They hop, and straddle, land a foot.

 

The crone, nettled

with arthritic knees, shuffles

along the leafy street.

She knows their game, the numbers

and squares, the court

where youth displays.

 

Needled by age she buys

a broom. The head's a bundle

of birch twigs. She lubricates

the handle of hazel wood

with belladonna. Her joy

flies. The girls wave.

Phil Wood was born in Wales. He studied English Literature at Aberystwyth University. He has worked in statistics, education, shipping, and a biscuit factory. He enjoys chess and learning German. His writing can be found in various places, including: Byways (Arachne Press Anthology), The Seventh Quarry (issue 39).

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