Bluebell Woods ( first pub. by Riggwelter #25, and in my collection, Wish)

Bluebell Woods

The midwife wears navy,
for rational solicitude.
It’s not a mother’s blue,
not like the singing river
you followed here
to this little cot;
not like robin’s eggs
or forget me nots.

Neither the blue of icy
roofs on moonlit nights,
when unremarked snow
settles as you breastfeed
in the hallowed dark;
nor the cerulean music
of celestial spheres.

Not longing displaced,
that vision doesn’t mediate.
When her visit’s over
she’ll depart, with
careful chat and data.
You can lock the door
then and let the walls

breathe out, a home
subsiding imperceptibly
along cracks wide
as the entire terrace.
A neighbour’s clock
straddles the wall
and your embrace

now you recall, how
your newborn looked at you,
as she was lifted from
the womb – a changeling
with silver eyes and
otherworldly gravitas.

Bruised bluebells
writhe from pint glasses
and cups, towards
the cobalt light
of half drawn curtains;
exuding a milky sap
and clinging scent.

Lost in motherhood’s
enchanted bluebell woods,
you are almost alone.
Not car exhaust blue
of the absent father;
speeding away
over a pale blue hill.

Thanks to Editor Jonathan Kinsman, for kindly publishing Bluebell Woods.
https://riggwelterpress.wordpress.com/2019/09/01/issue-twenty-five/?fbclid=IwAR0QYvIIQwjI0YEOThF_qwiqAy9i1PyTlJ7Uu1ZxzU9niqtvnrLiHUa2RfE

Butterfly

When Persephone stopped playing outside
sometimes you’d catch a spectral
glimpse of her through the window,
waving at her mother gardening.

One summer, her mother found
a dead red admiral on the path.
It was a mere slip of a thing;
and it must have just expired

fluttering from flower to flower
unfettered in the lonely garden.
The mother put it in a matchbox
which she guarded with her life.

Every year she thought of
new ways to dispose of it;
to set it free through flames
or simply in the act of letting go.

Of course it was magical thinking,
to imagine a ritual
that could heal the heart.
Never was a butterfly so heavy.

Vedbaek

I pick a path by grey-light
to grave 8 at Vedbaek
on the moon’s far plateaus,
among its arid lakes
and crumbling catacombs.

Here is the Mesolithic
mother laid to rest
six thousand years ago,
cradling a child with
two knives by its side

borne with a final blessing
on a swan’s great wing –
to reach eternal Spring.

mother maiden crone anthology pic
An earlier version Published in ‘Maiden Mother Crone’ an Anthology edited by Katie Metcalfe, Slice Of The Moon Press (2020)