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All the Footprints I Left Were Red

by Rowena Knight

I ordered a couch with slender legs, soft

as a girl, with the feel of an earlobe

or peach. The colour of cream

left out, a cat’s tongue lapping the light.


A couch for buttered Sundays, smooth white wine,

for leaving bills to crinkle and yellow.

A couch for entertaining Marcia,

for her gold legs to unfold and open.


Imagine my horror when I tugged free

the last piece to find a woman, flat-packed

at the back. Polished and white as a sink,

she’s hat-stand tall, and doesn’t say a word.


She’s quite the thing next to the piano,

one arm half-raised, as if about to speak.




by Rowena Knight, from All the Footprints I Left Were Red (£5.99)

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