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Three Poems by Ann Byrne-Sutton

Thinking of Eve

The tree is ancient,
grey-green with lichen
its branches brittle.
As I climb higher
my cat joins in
but gets fazed,
tumbles past me
down the trunk.
I reach up,
pick the top-most apple.

In the Fields

Row on close-set row
crops of crosses grow
that yield no harvest.
From each charnel field
women cry for seed.

Music at Auschwitz 2005

I listen to a concert
live from Auschwitz ‒
lamentation
for the people
murdered there.

Content on my lap
the cat purrs
until desolate strings
screech the pain
of Messiaen’s
‘Quartet For the End of Time.’

Her ears go back
and starting up
she licks my ears.

First published in Come Back to Avalon. Starborn Books, 2011, with kind permission of Ann Byrne-Sutton’s family and the editors of Starborn Books.

The late Ann Byrne-Sutton was born in Glastonbury and studied medicine in Bristol. She and her husband, both keen mountaineers, moved to Geneva in 1961. In 1988 she sailed the Atlantic both ways in a ten-metre yacht, as a crew to a woman climbing friend. She settled in Pembrokeshire, completed an MA in writing at Glamorgan University, published High June (2002) and Come Back to Avalon (2011). She was a founder member of PENfro Poets.