sharp as darts,
freckled luminosity of skin
made alabaster in the womb;
deep inside the crink of slice, hazelised,
laughing brightly under ginger ice frosting
of the hair gently falling from a head old
as the wild western shore.
I can see my roar reflected
in the crash of the Atlantic,
in the dashing rage of wave on wave
upon the rocks at Spanish Point:
clint and gryke crib for passion’s damage.
I’m in the monochrome echo of my Nan
behind glass upon the table.
We have giants in this family.
A DNA atlas mapping famine, we are menace
made of scar tissue memories of sacking.
Now I lie in the arms of the mother who abandoned me
to Cromwell and his charmers in the New Model Army,
wrapped in ribbons coloured militant
and standing up repeatedly for liberty.
Atlas: late 16th century (originally denoting a person who supported a great burden): via Latin from Greek Atlas, the Titan of Greek mythology who supported the heavens and whose picture appeared at the front of early atlases.