Sunday, 18 March 2012

Springing to life

Flowers are coming into bloom, birds are singing, and spring is in the air. It’s the time of year when nature's new additions are in the offing - so appropriate that it should be Mother’s Day in the UK.

We often take our mothers for granted, yet they offer us unconditional love whatever the circumstances. No one said motherhood was easy. And sometimes it just wasn’t meant to be…

On that note, here’s a poignant poem by ShopCurious poet in residence Matt Bryden:


Still warm, she says. The sheep lies on its side.
The crows have claimed one eye – pools, ebbs,
darken the snow. Three more weeks
to lamb. She pokes her hand beneath the wool.
I lift a leg, manipulate the hoof joint.
The muck cakes her wrist. The flock are keeping distant.

A probe and waters burst. Full hands of gut,
intestine slop on snow. I roll her sleeves
beyond her elbows. Come, I say, and push
the sheep against her arm. Come on. She feels
the hoof of one of them but can’t secure
her grip, the cervix open. I want them born.

You’re doing well, I say. Propitious year –
of snowfall, blue moon. I grip the fleece.
Come on. She holds the head now, pulls it
by the skull and worms it from the mother,
floppy lamb puppet, tips it so its paws
tread snow, then rubs its face, its closed eyes.
No. The umbilicus spills its red all over.

Back in. This time easier. She pulls it out.
A girl. Too young. She holds it up.
We lay them by the mother’s side –
for buzzards to dispatch, the farmer to descry.

On a lighter note, one of my favourite books from childhood is PD Eastman’s Dr Seuss book, Are You My Mother? (see pic left).

Are you?