Thursday 25 May 2023


by Nick Gisburne

My sister says, “I want to be a bird!”
The game we love is dress-up, most of all.
Today I pick Napoleon. Absurd,
But, deep inside the costume box, we crawl.
I find a hat, a uniform, a cloak.
In minutes I am Emperor of France,
But, long ago, the wings she wanted broke.
Towards the garden shed we share a glance.
I’ve watched our father building a canoe.
His fibreglass is perfect for the job.
The resin (she insists I call it glue)
We slather on her body, glob by glob.
    A buzzard’s beak now bonded her face,
    Excited, to our mother’s arms we race.