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