Kitty Donnelly

Exchanging Presents

For his birthday he wants an owl’s hoot,
the glimpse of fox, russet in russet
undergrowth, a tricky gift to give.
She desires an oak apple necklace,
the holes for string already burrowed
through one side of each borrowed bud.
No gold, no cars on hire purchase, no roses
on pillows but the warmth of living fur
against her cheek, the shew her cat carried
gently by mouth over park & road
to place, intact, at her feet. He wishes
for candlelight where flames weave stories,
her arm around his back, pressing
with the safety of substantiality. He wants
to sketch her when she flicks black wings
of eyeliner, wishing – not for the first time –
he were her. She needs his morning racket
guaranteed: clattering dishes as he whistles
with the robin. If not this, then nothing.

Kitty Donnelly was born in Oxford to Irish parents. She has lived in Oxford, Cumbria, London, Swansea, Chichester and currently lives in West Yorkshire.
In 2005/6, she had her first poems published by Acumen, The Forward Press and in the Samaritan’s Anthology as well as being short and long-listed for several poetry competitions. In 2007, she took a long-break from writing and submitting poems following the birth of her daughter.