At dusk granma would
stand stock still outside,
only her long thin hair moving
in the breeze,
waiting there until the bats started
to flit and zigzag and dip and uplift over
her garden. Then one by one they would
land on her outstretched fingers
at the end of her outstretched arms
until she had ten little bats hanging
upside down from each of her fingers.
This, she said, was why she wore no rings,
for precious metal and gems will send a bat’s
echo-location system into orbit
and launch each bat out
to the far ends of the universe,
and we giggled because we were children.
We know better now.
Tim Goldstone’s poems and stories are published or forthcoming in numerous journals and anthologies – ranging from The Mechanics' Institute Review Anthology to The Mambo Academy of Kitty Wang; Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine to Veil: Journal of Darker Musings. Scripts broadcast on TV and radio. Twitter @muddygold