Fall/Winter 2015-2016

Sarah Miller


I ran like a wild child
On the green and red hills
Whilst the village was thick with sleep
After all of the mothers had called their kids home
With open armed cuddles that shrunk back the dark
And warnings of Ginny Green Teeth

Biting the cold with my juddering teeth
I forgot I was ever a child
I lay down flat and was covered in dark
Became a mud-maiden on those iron ore hills
Fingers were roots, clutched earth and were home
Wind and grass shushed me to sleep

There was peace in that sleep
Out with Ginny Green Teeth
The monsters were bigger at home
Where I was the hollow, wall-shrunken child
Trapped by concrete, not cradled by hills
Where there was much more to fear than the dark

Sometimes the moon would rip open the dark
Eyes fighting the fuddle of sleep
Imagine my mattress was the comforting hills
Wish my mother was Ginny Green Teeth
She wouldn’t eat her own special child
I know she wouldn’t scream-smack me home

The pond with no bottom, that would be home
We’d dance in the watery dark
She would sing bubble-songs to her Ginny Green child
Make ripples to rock me to sleep
Then she’d kiss me awake, smile with mud-blood stained teeth
And together we’d run on those hills

We’d look for bad children out on the hills
Children who should be at home
Frightened by stories of Ginny Green Teeth
Afraid to be out after dark
Scream, sharp mud-blood nightmares that don’t wait for sleep
Wail-tales to carry off a child

Those distant hills held all my dark dreams
A home where I wanted to sleep
Saved by Ginny and that mud-blood wild child
With her Ginny Green wisdom teeth.
Ginny Green Teeth ( or Jenny Green Teeth, depending which part of the country you are from) is a folk legend monster that seems to be used to discourage children from playing near dangerous water. The ponds near where I grew up were disused iron ore mines that had filled with water. This poem was published in Selkie Singing At The Passing Place, a joint poetry collection with Melanie Rees, Flapjack Press (2015).

Sarah Miller is a poet, playwright and theatre deviser living in Salford. 'Selkie Singing At The Passing Place', her joint poetry collection with Melanie Rees, was recently published by Flapjack Press.



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