Maggie Butt

The Patron Saints of Infidel Girls

They watch her from behind their veils.
She climbs aboard the bus, drags
ruck-sack, sweat darkening her T shirt.

As the bus grinds along the desert road
four of them rise from their separate seats
advance towards her down the bone-shake aisle.

Despite herself, she thinks of crows
winging in to feast on carrion;
shifts in her seat, crosses suntanned arms.

They settle themselves around her,
naked in their eyes, without hijab,
language-less and just a girl (my girl)

pink and defenceless as a baby;
four silent, black-clad guardian angels
at her head and hands and feet.