She was left on her Auntie’s doorstep
in a straw basket trimmed with roses,
a knitted baby bonnet on her head,
earflaps striped pin and yellow.
She knows this because her Auntie
told her. She heard them say that
she was backward. Does this mean
back-to-front, or front-to-back?
At evening time she listens
as trains whistle. Small engines
shunt among the pecking chickens
and old apple trees. In the pig shed
she kneels and says a prayer to Old Spot.
She hears her Auntie calling her.
Strawberry juice runs over her chin.
The signal-board goes up. Then down.
Jennie Farley is a published poet, workshop leader and teacher living in Cheltenham.
Her work has featured in many magazines and been performed at festivals. Her first
collection was Her Grandmother Skating (Indigo Dreams Publishing 2016) followed by
Hex (IDP 2018). She founded and runs NewBohemians@CharltonKings an arts club
providing poetry, performance, music throughout the year.