Anna Milan

The woman who walked in the forest


I walk the way she points

and see the splay of beeches

she hoped would grow

taller than the sawpits


and when the faceless

chattering men appear

I’m not sure what to do

because though on my breasts

are written the stories I love most

and though she is stronger

than anyone on this path

the stories are not for men

chattering without faces


so I crouch behind the holly

instead of seeing how far the path

will take me, and I think


this is not where she pointed after all.


© Anna Milan




There’s a hole in the living room floor. Sometimes smaller, sometimes bigger, but always there. We discuss it endlessly, he and I, till the hands of the clock fall off in frustration and even the cat leaves in search of a more linear lifestyle. When one leg of the sofa teeters on the edge, he fills the hole with discarded socks and shredded newspapers and reckless words, and I empty it again. And so we go on, while the hole gets smaller and bigger.


© Anna Milan



The sky is too big here


said the woman from the mountains

who went back to her home

leaving her children

to plant roots in strange flatlands


So we grew used to the sky’s slow blink

over half this new world

and we grubbed out

the fertile clay from grufty fingernails

to grow extra syllables in our mouths


Pe-as and be-ans on our tin plates

in a dark lake of muck-pig broth

and placenames that stretched

taking their time on our tongues


And when we looked out to the horizon

we could see the sky’s curved eyelid

shuttering over the loam

that whispered

with the consoling voice of a mother


© Anna Milan



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