A Spell for Motherhood – Nina Parmenter

A Spell for Motherhood

Take a mountain. Scale the pink-arsed flanks of it,  
limb over limb. Find Poseidon. Extract from him a wave 
and a horse’s hoof. Pluck a tree; kill the grip of it 
by showing it your thoughts. Make your peace with the grave. 
Eat apples, all of them. Taste in them the sin 
of being a woman. Let that smack you in the gut, 
you deserve it. Straddle the equator. Suck up its spin, 
take it with you; feel your body snapping shut. 
Learn to count each breath as an act of sedition. 
Pull the lungs from a sleeping leopard. Be a speck. 
Be a planet. Be a long-dead apparition.  
Stuff a storm into your patch pocket, huge and wet, 
but tell no one. Invent two new ways of sucking  
a heart from a blown glass moon. Find a man. Fuck him.

Nina Parmenter has appeared in journals including Ink, Sweat & Tears, Snakeskin, Light, Better Than Starbucks and The Lyric. She was highly commended in the 2021 Geoff Stevens Memorial Prize, and is a Forward Prize nominee. She lives in Wiltshire. Twitter: @ninaparmenter Facebook: @parmenterpoetry Website: ninaparmenter.com

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