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A Woman Called Faithless

Linda France

There’s a woman called Faithless

living in my house.


She moves from room to room,

trailing musk and ambergris.


Mouth parted, faintly bruised,

she is moody as seaweed. Her glad


gull’s eye collects shells, bones.

Her favourite haunt is horizontal.


A creature wearing only a necklace

of names, she is all things to all men.


You can count on her to kiss and tell.

I think she’s a swan on holiday:


fascinating from across a lake,

all beak and hissing when you get close.


I watch her giving the Man of the House

the largest slice of cake. I know her


too well; I cannot trust her.

She’s Faithless, as a cat;


steals love from cupboards.


From The North No 7 (1989)