Poem introduction

This poem is about the shapes of numerals.

Nought to Nine

A ring made of gold, a doughnut and hole,
something that’s nothing that’s easy to roll.
 
A periscope raised, a walking stick.
the cut of a cake and a candle’s new wick.
 
A swan on a lake, a nun knelt in prayer,
an FA cup handle raised in the air.
 
The pot of a mouth, a bird flying over,
a bra on a line, two leaves of clover.
 
A neatly pressed ribbon, a kite without string,
the nose of a witch and an arm in a sling.
 
The hand of a pirate, a flat-headed snake,
an apple divided, the latch on a gate.
 
A teardrop to wipe, a cherry and a stalk,
the speech mark to use when your words start to talk.
 
Half a triangle, a fox’s ear tip,
an arrow, an arm of a hand on a hip.
 
Balancing balls and a circular kiss,
a hoop with a waist and a rope in a twist.
 
A hook in a curtain, chameleon’s tongue,
the whistle to blow when this poem’s done.

from The Language of Cat and Other Poems (Frances Lincoln, 2011), © Rachel Rooney 2011, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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Rachel Rooney

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