Friday poem: 'Night Moths'

26 February 2016

By Jackie Kay

Last night when I opened my back door
ten red moths flew into my kitchen,
their paper wings, delicate as lanterns.
At night they came to light like motifs to folklore,
and now, suddenly ten, lined across my wall –
and kept so still: I wondered if they were ill.

I captured each visitor in an empty glass
– the ancestors come in many guises –
and took each one to the open door,
and watched as, under the one winged moon,
over the fence and into the starry sky,
the fluttering wings became a hello and goodbye.

From Jackie Kay’s collection Fiere.

Trumpet, Jackie Kay’s moving novel about the lengths to which people will go for love, is one of the latest additions to our Picador Classics series. The new edition includes an introduction from Kay’s close friend Ali Smith.

‘This fiercely pioneering work makes the walls between us come tumbling down. In a love song to our human versatilities, a uniting of many voices into an unprecedented and forgiving set of harmonies, a jazzy call to action, it trumpets subtlety, imagination, generosity, life-force, to the rooftops.

You’ve got to be born, with voice like this.’

- Ali Smith

Start reading Trumpet

Life lacking in poetry? Get our Friday poem straight to your inbox every week.

 

You may also like