by Jean Atkin

when I looked, the starlings
_____were there on the estuary
__________blacker than its greys

they lifted, shapeshifted
_____became single, coiling reptile
__________that rolled through air

__________raked a humping spine
_______________& muscled a ripple out
____________________to weighted tail

____________________it hunted the fields of the sea-edge
_______________then stooped

__________from the window I caught one steep

meat fall and plunge behind a hedge
_____& dragon
__________boiled along the grass

my train left then
__________just as
_______________it slithered its existence out



Jean Atkin has published Not Lost Since Last Time (Oversteps Books), five poetry pamphlets and a children’s novel. Her poetry has been commissioned for Radio 4, and featured on ‘Best Scottish Poets’ by the Scottish Poetry Library. Her recent work appears in The Interpreter’s House, Magma, Lighthouse, Agenda, Ambit and Poetry Salzburg. She works as a poet in education and community.