Jacqueline Burdett – Michael W. Thomas

Jacqueline Burdett

We were in the same class
at primary school.  Shared
the same birthday.  One year
were told to stand up
so the room could sing
and toast the nothing we’d done.

Slight, she was, freckled:
tawny keeps coming to mind.
Already bringing on a bit of a stoop
to oblige the afterwards.

You’d glimpse her
slipping out to play,
edging the shadows
of the manager’s son
and the town-clerk’s daughter.

She answered each question perfectly
then retrieved her stillness,
putting the world away from her
till called upon again.

She rarely smiled,
perhaps never,
certainly not the day she and I
held an end apiece of coincidence,
like a pageant-flag
golden from a brush of sun
fluttered in a pocket of wind.

 

Michael W. Thomas’s poetry collections include Batman’s Hill, South Staffs (Flipped Eye, 2013) and Come to Pass (Oversteps, 2015).  His work has appeared in The Antioch Review and the TLS.  In 2015, his novella, ‘Esp’, was shortlisted for the UK Novella Award.
www.michaelwthomas.co.uk
http://swansreport.blogspot.co.uk/
@thomasmichaelw