Old Woman in the Attic

Old Woman in the Attic

by Eunice Buchanan

When we bought the attic there was an old woman

living there.  And now there is again.

When I was young there was a township of them

living up there in the attics.  They would fly around

the rooftops on windy nights and cackle down the chimneys.


I look at the old woman in the mirror.  Not long to go now.

The wrinkles are coming on fine.  The nose and chin are still

some way apart.  But already the magic has started.

I can be invisible without even trying.  I can hover

in shops and bars and no-one knows I'm there.


At my right elbow when I pull the curtains

there is a sea-gull on her nest.  She has a wicked beak

and a yellow baleful eye.  She is my familiar and I like her.

Tomorrow I shall go to the garden centre and choose

my broom.  I can almost feel a cackle coming on.