Not Quite

You can’t quite put

your finger



You can’t quite finger-tip-toe up my arm

and magic ‘it’ out from behind my ear

or ply me with generosity

to loosen my unsure tongue

or spiral hoop a loop with feather light touch

to inch ‘it’ out and eek ‘it’ free

even though you look where ‘it’

might be tucked behind, inside,

between, beneath it,

but not ‘it’,

buttoned quite out of reach

of your fingers, for now,

but I hold your hands to weave

an apology, a forgive me show

of here’s a church and here’s

a steeple and open up the doors

and here’s…


‘it’, and

your hands strike up higher than

the rocket-rush shriek of utter,

complete, immense frustration

and in that moment, I know

you’re not sure whether

you hate me and I wait, ‘it’ waits…

‘til your fingers twist into a puppet

shadowing on our new four walls,

its rabbit nose twitching,

eye twice blinking to coax my

hands that shyly mould a cockerel,

make believing a doodle-doo, knowing

that you just put

your finger

right on,


3 thoughts on “Not Quite

  1. oh that is very quite. full of feeling. both leads and follows with words and structure most artfully fresh and surprising which i love when that happens. shadow puppets are so simple and yet so alive, like this poem x

  2. Oh just wonderful! Your words draw me in and invite exploration.

    ‘It’ is a sneaky little word – it can be so suggestive and open-ended when it wants to be …

    Lovely! 🙂

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