Today's poem is by Katrina Roberts
Holyhead, Anglesey, 1871
Mired I was on that steep fuzzed bank where the fence
runs like mare-song skittish but strong beneath
smudged storm clouds up to Penrhos Bardwyn farm
when my spade hit the pipkin, black as a plum
and as round. And I called to you then:
Ay now, Nanny Roberts, where have you gone?
Sure as sun bolts licking feldspar, a bit
of chipped slate clamped shut the black pot's mouth
and on both sides, your name all capitals scratched in
with a fierce nail. And by whom, Miss Nanny, by
whom? No sound but a howl through the fern-grey copse.
And corpse too heavy a word for the body I found
therein . . . a frog pierced by pins the length of a bigger man's
thumb and as sure as a thicket of arrows stitching
the black sea with light when the crasher has finally come . . .
O, what have y'done. Nanny Roberts? Though I flung
each piece far as I could toward the sea, I fear your witching
can't be undone cursed as you've been, and I the one
last touched the vessel, what now becomes of me?
Copyright © 2011 Katrina Roberts All rights reserved
from Northwest Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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