May 9 17

Ali Jones


Ali Jones is a teacher and writer, living in Oxford, England. She holds an MA in English, focused on poetry in domestic spaces and has written poetry in a variety of forms for many years. She is a mother of three. Her work has appeared in Fire, Poetry Rivals Spoken Word Anthology, Strange Poetry, Ink Sweat and Tears, Snakeskin Poetry, Atrium, Mother’s Milk Books., Breastfeeding Matters, Breastfeeding Today and Green Parent magazine. She writes a regular column for Breastfeeding Matters Magazine. She was the winner of the Green Parent Writing Prize in 2016 and has also written for The Guardian. She is interested in writing in the gaps and silences.


The Things They Told Her


They said it was the wisest wound,

to pull her into line with the ancestors

a tapestry of women red threaded on a needlepoint.


They said it was the only way to be pure

and who knows what might have happened,

if they had left her open to the night sky.


They said it was a celebration,

and gathered themselves in beside a tent

that crouched in the afternoon haze.


They said it was sacred,

sang incantations to bring her home.


They said it was love when they captured her,

that running was no use, her path was already marked.


They said it was a prayer when her brothers tied her

hands and feet together and carried her inside.


They said it was a gift when her grandmother

chinked open a new blade, and put it to her skin.


They said it was an offering when they sliced her away,

They said that god would be smiling at her right hand.


They said a lot of things.


Ali Jones 2017