after an engraving by Thomas Bewick
The stoat needles through bracken,
the thrush slams a snail on a stone.
There is no space to intervene
and I don’t want to. I love the thrush,
the stone, the snail, and I love the stoat,
her spring of muscle, her pointed jaw –
a complete story, without heroes.
I want to be one of them though I know
bitter fear and hunger would pall.
My eyes sting from pills with side-effects,
fennel salads; I’m worn out making tea
and readying towels. I’m the thrush,
finally released – or I’m the stoat,
mouth full of flight and copper.
© Rosamund Taylor
Picture 12480749, engraving by Thomas Bewick, circa 1790s
Rosamund Taylor won the Mairtin Crawford Award for poetry at the Belfast Book Festival in 2017, and has been nominated for a Forward Prize for best single poem. Her work has recently appeared in Agenda, Banshee, Magma, Poetry Ireland Review and on LambdaLiterary.Org.