Issue #8

God's Own Country

My great grandmother learnt to read
every word on her husband’s lips.
The roaring mills of her great wool town
had rendered her ears useless by twenty.

Her daughter had a childhood clouded by war
and learnt to live with it.
She learnt that a cake counted as chocolate as long as it was brown
because cocoa powder wasn’t worth more than that week’s egg.

Her daughter after her wanted more than the quiet of the soaring hills
and learnt to chase her growing dreams.
She ran away to London and raised a daughter of her own.
Taught me not to live with anything I could change.
If I close my eyes I can still smell the chocolate cake that was worth that little bit more.

Now, I’m learning to forge my future in a steel city,
smaller than home but bigger than me.
Rising and falling in seven cycles
and pouring forth its ironic lifeblood from every spring
till every winter.

If I ever have a daughter, we will go to Yorkshire.
She will learn to trace her mother's paths
by the drystone walls of God’s Own County.

Greer Dewdney