I had a dream of my success
and of all the things I was truly
gifted at, it was stealing rocks,
boulders the size of mountains
from fields in their décor of moss and lichen
from rivers cloaked in algae camouflage,
digging through silt for sedimentary skeletons
and placing them again in my graveyard
of unmarked headstones. Lifting
these monoliths wasn’t an issue
I could move solid objects the weight of Wales
as if running my fingers through sand
I was as strong as the steel that holds bridges,
my stamina that of a black hole.
The blues, greens and greys of narky
and gnarled edges bit at my hands
leaving them raw like a freshly killed pig
but I carried on rearranging Mother Earth’s work
until the time came that I’d changed perceptions,
when I could stand back and lift my chest
above my crown, connecting with a thousand
strands of silk that held me
like newborn breath bawling its birth.
Then gentle as hands that touch a final goodbye
I was laid in my meadow with crag and stone
that I’d built with my own reddened bone
and I slept like a corpse, still and home.
Terri Metcalfe has been published in Abridged, A New Ulster, Green Ink Poetry, Spilling Cocoa and Skylight 47. She was shortlisted for the Open Window 2023 mentorship programme and will be a featured reader at the 20th anniversary of Over The Edge Literary Events held in Galway this January.