Nancy Carol Moody’s poem reflects on the unintended fierceness of her face, which betrays the softness that lives behind. Illustrated by Maria Rikteryte.

When they ask about my face
I will say something about snow,
the skittered tracks of a hare,
just prior to the hush.

I will say wind bores
salt into sea-boards,
taut rope burns a furrow,
Leaf rust pockmarks autumn elms.

I will talk of hoarfrost bit by hob-nail,
a meadow after the scythe,
the dory’s barnacled hull,
a peppermint held
too long against the palate.

When they ask about my face
I will say that even a trodden carriage
leaves wheel marks in the stone,
that shrapnel can flare
a staggering tattoo,

that left to their own devices,
sparks of midnight fireworks
will carve ferocious trails
into the black wax of the sky.

To ensure that you never miss a future issue of the print magazine, subscribe from just £10 a year.