In my midnight I unhook the dust-framed painting,
a childhood spook, a haunting, a fur mask,
and suddenly there’s a polecat,
her coat a silkscreen print, soft as her starlit complexion,
the dark patches blotted. She is our solitary hunter.
From the gloam of a sand dune, out of oils,
she slouches. Musk charges the room.
She is my mother, returned to seek out
her ghost husband, reclaiming him,
he, who was always leafing in libraries.
She drags him by the scruff of his neck,
flicking her tail in the scramble over rockery and log pile.
By dawn she is back in the kitchen,
wielding an iron, as a wife might, pressing office shirts.
I rise to the taste of the polecat’s low mewling to her mate.
Maggie Mackay, a Scot with wanderlust, a love of jazz and a good malt, has been published in All Write Then’s anthology Still Me…(www.pewter-rose-press.com), was the winner of the Writers’ Circle Anthology Award 2014, and has work in various publications, Open Mouse, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Bare Fiction, The Interpreter’s House ,Obsessed with Pipework and The Lake with work forthcoming in The Screech Owl. She is at Manchester Metropolitan University taking an MA in Poetry, and is a co-editor of Word Bohemia (www.wordbohemia.co.uk)