DAY THIRTY-FOUR – Kate Hendry

new boots and pantisocracies

What Nicola Knows

Worrying about Nicola Sturgeon’s sleep
keeps me awake the night before the general election.
Three to four hours a night, she tells us on the radio.
I wake at three, wondering if she’s up.

I get her sorted: Vote first thing, then pep talks
for candidates. The afternoon’s for sleep.
She slips off her stilettos, lies fully clothed
on the bed’s shiny cover. Her tights crackle with static.

In her dream she’s riding a long-legged horse
through an avenue of trees. She’s so high up,
she can’t hear the men who are holding the reins.
One is chastising the horse for stopping.

But Nicola doesn’t mind how fast or slow she goes.
She’s never seen inside the canopy of trees before.
She’s surprised to find that she can identify each one –
elm, beech, ash. Birds too – chiffchaff, bullfinch.

When Nicola wakes, she feels more…

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