Until she’s dead, no one can own her.
She’s altitude, the vulture
circling mountains beyond the tree-line,
caught only in the back of a bird book,
red-eyed dinosaur, grey face ringed
in greasy feathers. Through a lens
she’s seen smashing bones
into cliffs. Her beak digs for marrow,
her stomach acid breaks sheep femurs.
In the Pyrenees, she’s a shadow above us;
an echo of tail and scream
in the Himalayas, of raw cliffs,
frost, long winds
and marrow. Untouchable. But kill her,
her sun-bleached back spreads broken,
her beak lolls open still sticky with blood
and marrow. Her wings held thin bitter air,
cold sunrise, days of red skies,
now reduced to limp feathers,
loose and wide as a grin. Hold her close.
Rosamund Taylor won the Mairtín Crawford Award at the Belfast Book Festival in 2017. Widely published and anthologised in the UK and Ireland, she is a recipient of a 2019 Words Ireland mentorship.