Fall/Winter 2015-2016

Jane Merritt


I want to tell you about my feet

Child's feet,
Wild little untamed feet, they ran through dew-jewelled grass,
Stroked buttercups,
Found bliss in kneading mud,
And tickling shrimps under stones in the beck;
Shimmering white in the cold.

Child's feet crumpled in the womb,
Strapped and straightened,
Laced in shoes to walk to school.
Keep up! Don't trip!
Pick up your flat fallen feet
And tow the crocodile line!

Feet swept up in the swell of the band
And the beat of our hearts
And the bass guitar,
Sprung like a poppy seed ready to burst
And scatter all over the floor,
With Jackson, Quo and the Rolling Stones
Stardust Shakin' into your arms
'Til the music slowed and the lights went down.

Stiffer, slower, chilblain- blue,
My feet are lost in woollen socks
In mud-caked, milk-splattered, wellington boots.
They roam the fells and lambing fields,
Where the zig-zag mark of a rubber tread
Is lost to wind and rain.
Or cast perhaps in time, in clay.

I want to tell you about my feet,
Hare's feet my father said;
Strong and long-boned.

Jane Merritt lives on an upland farm in South Cumbria where she keeps a small flock of sheep and hosts a monthly writing group ‘Write on the Farm’. She studied Agriculture at College and discovered the joys of poetry through a Continuing Education Creative Writing Course, Lancaster University. She writes from her experience of country life. Her work has been published in the North, Issue 48.



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