Promoting Poetry in Scotland

The Kids | jen hadfield

Born too soon,
Monday’s child was not ready to be seen;
is destined to be early for ever.

She has a slice of red pepper
like a question mark.


The volcanic breath of Tuesday’s child!
He remembers where poetry comes from;
the literal potential of things,

which means he can’t eat broccoli —
seeing it right, a tiny indigestible oak.

He eats grated cheese with a teaspoon,
assisting it with a finger.


The hidden’s the vocation of bird-like Wednesday’s child,
perfecting her dustbaths with sweeping boughs of pine.

She can find anything hidden in the dark,
as a cat finds a rabbit —

by the steam escaping
the warren.


Thursday’s child says he saw Wednesday’s child
run so fast she began to fly.

Thursday’s child shall be called a liar.


Friday is afraid of the suit of spades
and jigsaw pieces the shape of the suit of spades.

She’s afraid of plug-sockets, pylons,
dams, flowered wallpaper.

She knows what magic is —
the stress we’re under.


Saturday’s child is still growing into her eyes,
lamps above her chin, a frog’s eyes

surfacing the muds of winter.
She can’t help what she does and doesn’t see —

salting away what she sees
inside her.


Sunday’s child knows what blasphemy is
and where the devil’s grave.

He makes the lovely graves
of long grass and speedwell.

Jen Hadfield lives in Shetland and works as a writer, writing tutor and visual artist. Her collections Almanacs and Nigh No-place are published by Bloodaxe. Her third collection, Byssus, will be pubished by Picador in 2014. She blogs intermittently, at rogueseeds.blogspot.com

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