Rachel Piercey


Spring Cleaning

Sometimes when I am hauling
the hoover round the house I get to feeling
a little dangerous and tug on its stretchy
neck without caring to check
the trajectory of its small hot body.
I would be frightened
to feed a horse with apples
but I feed the hoover dusty hairballs
and do not flinch from
its bristly nuzzle and emphatic swallow.
At all times I keep
my eye trained on the hoover
to enjoy its vanishing of dust
and miscellaneous lumps
but I must blink
and a robin keeps arriving in the garden
and my first crocus is exerting itself
through the soil and it is always
in these moments that it happens,
the sharp clatter, the tangible rattle up the hose
of something substantial,
which might matter, which might be something
I didn’t know I’d lost,
stuck now in a matted shroud,
and I could go searching for it
but that would allow everything out.


The Sea of Marriageability

When I went to the sea of marriageability
I took a costly offering, naturally.

I ripped off every pretty stitch of cloth
and waded in. The water was butter-soft;

I had to stand on tippy toes to breathe.
Give me give me give me said the sea.

I will give you every single thing I own,
I answer-prayed, for a retroussé nose.

In the wavy heat, my salt-flecked freckles
glistened like meat on heaving tables.

The sea would see what it had got for me.
But first, it swallowed my offering.


Rachel Piercey is a freelance writer, editor and proofreader. She has two pamphlets with the Emma Press, The Flower and the Plough (2013) and Rivers Wanted (2014). In 2016, her poems appeared in The Poetry Review, The Rialto, Magma and Poems in WhichRachel also writes, edits anthologies and runs poetry workshops for children.

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