Ancestor Mother

She was born of no man’s rib bone

but of hip bone of downland hill,

curved recumbent beneath a scudding sky.

Or of the unfathomable depth of an inky lake

encircled by mountain girdle.

She was born not mute

but roaring her longing

for life itself, the very breath of it.

For the pulse of earth pushing wind

through high summer oaks.

She was born ravenous for the musk of damp earth,

drawn to lay skin against trembling leaf.

To push fingers into warm wild honey.

Snake was in her every movement,

serpentine tides coursing strong

through every sinuous limb,

she was rapt in simple seduction

of Sun by Earth,

for the slow dance of clay

under moon’s light,

The rapture of DNA.

Held in the fork of her tongue

A billion stars still flickered,

The Word giving birth,

Pouring forth.

This is my ancestor mother.

No cowed consort, she,

half lit by history,

but fire-fuelled star

blazing phosphorescent

down every bloodline

that lays claim to my heart.

Artwork Vasyl Mushyk

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