Elly McDonald


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Cheap Poem, Winking (1985)

As a shadow, she’s much bolder

than I – looms much larger

takes more risks, stretches out and

intrudes: she

ignores bolted gates, and enters

other people’s homes; has no fear

of anything concrete, anything private

anything closed. Unafraid

and irreverent, she touches

those I love

has no shame, no sense of place

reaches out: no restraint

In a mirror she’s much sharper

than myself – she’s much

lighter, more quick; so much more

the creature of light

being of colour

Of angles, much more

somebody’s dream, someone’s

image – a reflection, my opposite number

laughing back at me, wherever I

look: winking up

from whatever I make

I create

spotlit flirt, knowing

on paper

she’s more brilliant, so much braver

much more startling, more broad

for your dollar

(more a tease)

more alive, even disguised

even dismissed, even derided and

tossed off as a

cheap poem