The baker's daughter
is watching me through the reed-slicks,
her eyes surrounded by floury feathers.
Her wings canvas the river. I dip
my twitching toes in her waters, her eyes
pull me in as she says if she could she'd go back,
back to before her life turned owl: she'd give him
all the bread he wanted, she'd bake forever
then pile up his pockets and run, her arms
burnt from the loaves.
My eyes itch like yeast. She says they hate
our flowers and songs, our stupid owlish faces,
and her mud slurps my violets, I sink my knees down
into her fishes and bubbles and claws.
'No girl can ever die honest,' she toots,
tugging me in with her beak.
Funded by Arts Council England, Faber New Poets aims to identify and support emerging talents at an early stage in their careers. Through a programme of mentorship, bursary and pamphlet publication, the scheme offers four poets a year the time, guidance and encouragement they require to help in the development of their work in the longer term.
In 2010, the awarded poets are Joe Dunthorne, Annie Katchinska, Sam Riviere and Tom Warner.