From this distance, I’m small and quiet,
being all curled up in this poem and waiting
inside the woman who lies spread-eagled,
silenced by the temperament of generations.
Her husband cradles a book, whose contents
no one remembers, and as he reads
she listens, not to this, but the sharp unfurling of wings
within our dim-lit cave; her muscular breath.
Slow march of words crawling back through centuries,
letters inked into leather scrolls,
a dark wind lifting the fabric of memory
and my mother labouring me up to the world’s fleshy rim
beyond which lie the nameless continents
and my father, who has long since put his book aside.