Tone Deaf – Rachel Bower

Tone Deaf

Before you were born I was tone deaf
silently mouthing songs at funerals
afraid of voicing my breath.

But you love my singing
clapping along with starfish hands
smiling and laughing out loud.

I began to sing out loud.
Of the sea and cornflower blue,
of clotted cream and clouds.

Of mustard and saffron
of cherries and heat
of sage and olives and mint.

I began to sing out loud
of tears and crystal dew
of chocolate daisies and silt.

Of molasses and honey
of blossom and rose
of charcoal and ash and soot.

I began to sing out loud.
Of the sea and cornflower blue,
of clotted cream and clouds.

Of milk and pudding
of fairies and mice
and now I sing out loud.

 

Rachel Bower is a poet and research fellow at the University of Leeds. Her pamphlet, Moon Milk, will be published with Valley Press in May 2018. She is currently co-editing an anthology with Helen Mort entitled Verse Matters, out with Valley Press in November 2017. Her book, Epistolarity and World Literature, 1980-2010 will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in August 2017. Rachel publishes and performs her poetry widely, and is the founder of Verse Matters, a feminist arts collective in Sheffield.

Website: https://rachelbowerwrites.wordpress.com

Twitter: @rachelebower

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