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Rachael Madeleine Nicholas (pictured), born in 1987, is a poet from Birmingham in the West Midlands, where she continues to live and work. Her writing has appeared both online and in print, in issues of Magma, Gigantic Sequins, and the Cadaverine, and she has performed her work at readings across the country, including an event at the Ledbury Poetry Festival.

She completed her MA in Creative Writing, with a focus on poetry, from the University of Birmingham in 2011. In 2012 she was selected as a recipient of the Eric Gregory Award, presented by the Society of Authors. She was runner-up in the 2013 Melita Hume competition, judged by Jon Stone.

Somewhere Near in the Dark

Something prized and bloodless
or chipped off and lost, rattling inside
like an uneven engine idling somewhere
near in the dark.

My brothers, returning to their
cities, wish me luck while I,
in turn, pretend I didn’t hear
and watch the small dog, split
in the softness of her belly,
arch away from the grass,
cowed by a snap of pain

and then forgetting it, returning
to the task of searching over
the frosted lawn for something
she misplaced.



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