Wednesday, January 15, 2014

my mother at the window


by Helen Mort

The deer my mother swears to God we never saw,
the ones that stepped between the trees
on pound-coin-coloured hooves,
I'd bring them up each teatime in the holidays
and they were brighter every time I did;
more supple than the otters we waited for
at Ullapool, more graceful than the kingfisher
that darned the river south of Rannoch Moor.
Five years on, in that same house, I rose
for water in the middle of the night and watched
my mother at the window, looking out
to where the forest lapped the garden's edge.
From where she stood, I saw them stealing
through the pines and they must have been closer
than before, because I had no memory
of those fish-bone ribs, that ragged fur,
their eyes, like hers, that flickered back
towards whatever followed them.


jennifer richmond said...

that is truly lovely.

Unknown said...

have you read this?


Liane said...

we are on the same wavelength my love...deer are important animals for me the past few years and the project i'm working on this year has to do with using fairy tale as a jumping off point for poems. xo i love you.