Nativity | Alice Kinsella

Don’t touch

Your mother told you

Not to touch.


It is very important

That you do not

Touch them.

They are not for playing with.


Creamy Ceramic

and burned blue


In a straw bed

On the mantel

Displayed for admiration.


You mustn’t touch them

Or desire to touch.

He can

And will

Because boys

Will be boys

But you child

Know better.




Perfectly dusted


You want to cup

In your fleshy



And examine


Invent another story for them.


You must not touch.


Your brother

Touched her

Dropped her

He smashed her.

He wasn’t scolded.


You found her on the carpet

A four foot drop

Had shattered her

Her clay dress ripped


Her adoring eyes

Now gazing

Into nothingness.

Alice Kinsella is a young writer living in Dublin. She writes both poetry and fiction and has been published in a variety of publications, including Headspace Magazine, Poethead and The Sunday Independent. She has been included in Poethead’s Index of Contemporary Irish Women Poets. She is in her final year of English Literature at Trinity College Dublin and currently working on her first novel.

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