a cut-out crown is still a crown
for a girl on a stolen horse
I would have swapped our sanities
to see her hair become lost in
rose horizons, saddlebags filled
with boxes of chocolate sprinkles

I’d been chasing robber children
long before we met – and I will
stick with this selfish travelling
until or well beyond my death
but she – she bore whole galaxies
sprinkled into maps on her skin

in my inside pocket you’ll find
scissors, tape and golden paper
the day I borrowed her reindeer
I thought in time she’d ride my horse
instead I stop at roadside shrines
and eat chocolate sprinkles daily

robber child: arguably the most interesting character
in H.C. Andersen’s story The Snow Queen
is the unnamed little robber girl


Published in my chapbook Fold me a Fishtail (Selcouth Station Press). An earlier version of this poem first appeared in the online version of issue 39 of The Blue Nib (September 2019).