In April 1996


In April 1996
I stopped lusting
after men

and men
stopped lusting
after me.

What synergy.
What symmetry.


Rachel McAlpine

Oh lucky Max


‘Today was the worst day
in my whole entire life.
Five bad things happened.

  1. I forgot my lunch—again.
  2. I missed out on play lunch.
  3. Celia hit me with a hat.
  4. Then Celia hit me with some
    nail polish in a glove.
  5. At soccer people stooded
    on my head.’

Oh lucky Max.
You’re six.
May you never have another day
as bad as this.


Rachel McAlpine

Seven year plan


It’s time again for the pouring
of thistledown into the palm
for the skidding of sycamore seeds.

Butterflies with red hair
settle on me like friends
and shadows lean and bend.

Our eyes mate casually.
No choosing is involved.
Instead you would walk

willingly up my path
climb the whiskery stairs
and talk in a small cocoon.

Meanwhile my task would be
to make a salad for example
and perhaps

to open my eyes without melodrama
leaving the window


Rachel McAlpine