Bone China

Bone China

I want to leave something behind
like the maid who cracked one night
the length of her heart,
who crept shaking down the staircase
to where the service shone on the dresser,
plates pale as a row of moons.

She stacked them in her arms -
a weight greater than all she owned -
bore their white tower to the kitchen garden
where she stood between the soft fruit beds
and smashed each one against the wall
with a planetary anger.

That dawn she walked out of her story forever,
though her flavour salted the servants' tongues for months,
and clearing the ground a hundred years later
of this self-seeded scrub of ash
I can still piece bits of her together - white and sharp -
as if the earth were teething.


'Bone China' from The Silence Living in Houses (Bloodaxe, 2005), © Esther Morgan 2005, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Recordings

Esther Morgan

Esther Morgan Downloads

1The Reason

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2Neighbours

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3Condemned

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4Out of Season

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5Images on Glass

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6Avocados

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7Industrial Light and Magic

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8Hints for Outback Motoring

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9Solo

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10The Cows

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11Relics

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12The House of

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13Endurance

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14Self Possession

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15Bone China

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16The Ghost of This House

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17Care-taking

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18Fast

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19House Rules

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20Her Given Names

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21Imperative

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22Balancing Act

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23The Ring Hand

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24Why Don't You Just Leave?

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25Safe House

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26Are You Homesick for the House of Cards?

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27Growing a Girl

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28British Winter Time

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29At the parrot sanctuary

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30Grace

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31Waiting Places

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32The Long Holidays

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33Spare Room in Summer

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34The Messengers

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35Among Women

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36Epiphany

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37What Happens While We are Sleeping

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38Summer Storm

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39Garbo Among Us

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40Hide Nor Hair

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41Five Easy Pieces

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42The China Mender's Daughter

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43Homing

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44After Life

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45Risen

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Books by Esther Morgan