Mab Jones is a “unique talent” (The Times) who has read her work all over the UK, in the US, France, Ireland, and Japan. She is the author of Poor Queen (Burning Eye Books, 2014) and take your experience and peel it (Indigo Dreams, 2016) which won the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize. Mab teaches creative writing at Cardiff University, writes for the New York Times, and recently presented a poetry programme on BBC Radio 4. She also runs International Dylan Thomas Day. www.mabjones.com
My spirit animal’s the ladybird –
lipstick slick with a skirt that splits
to wings; ready in an instant to
scissor her own skin and flit away.
An ugly bug in a pretty dress,
hiding shyness beneath her frock
of necrotic spots on danger red,
polka dots coloured so as to suggest
poison. Her person is slightly like
a marble; a tiddlywink; a fucked-up
domino. She’s the wrong shape, though,
and won’t let herself be played.
Not a lady, bad excuse for a bird,
lacking a beetle’s brawn, slow brain –
she’s the clown I sometimes catch
in my glasses, ‘til I blink; then she’s gone.