She’s the brooch that pins the sky’s blue cape together,
a kink-armed cross of tarnished silver.
Her calling rends the afternoon.
And now she’s an anchor, falling through fathoms of air,
faster than gravity, an angel breaking
the spine, piercing the heart of a dove.
Now she’s poised in her trefoil window,
an eclipse-eyed gargoyle with flesh caught
in the keen contraptions of her golden feet,
warrior queen of the parapet, armoured in keratin,
her chest barred tight, secure now in this chamber
of sticks and stinks and bones,
though the all-seeing lens in the corner
transmits each blink, every twitch, every stretch
to us, who watch the screens like powerless gods.
Peregrine by Mark Totterdell was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition March/April 2020 judged by Mandy Pannett.