Poetry by Lucy Whitehead: Crone
Up out of my bones she rises, shakes
the shadows from her feathers, gathers
them back in. Her black and silver-
threaded hair hangs loose, a wild mane
of twilight ruffled by the wind. Laughter flies
from her weather-beaten lips. Claw prints tread
her face when she grins. A sharp beak reaches
out of her mouth, shreds and cuts,
no longer keen to please. Bright eyes
catch what I might have missed, see deep
inside the shells of men. She fills
the sky with full-throated cries.
Her darkness drowning everything.
They told me
to be scared of growing old. But
when the ancient crow that had been sleeping
inside me split my skin and started to shed
the young woman with her burden of being loved,
I found my wings.