Spirited Away


This one was a clever thief, penetrating
cracks like freezing fog, settling
on just one thing for each night’s haul –
a sovereign hidden under the velvet lining
of a rosewood box, a dusty figurine
neglected in an attic room.

A predatory bird, he surveys
his future plunder – small antiquities
brought back from Greece, bone china cups,
her bedside clock. Light fingers secrete
them into obscure pockets as he slips
soundlessly away, leaving no footprints.

She begins to sense him creeping
through the house like morning mist
spiriting away her treasures.
Powerless and afraid, she holds tight
her family photos already fading
in their silver frames.

Locking doors and windows
she draws the curtains round.