Spring and the Pig Mother

Diane Mulholland (London, UK)

Liz Berry: Oh I loved this wild, strange folkloric poem and wished I had written it, especially those wonderful final lines.


Spring and The Pig Mother

You may catch sight of her

early in the year, when the moon

is a bright slit

no thicker than a new-born’s tail.

She will be standing with arms lifted,

pale and still as a ghost gum against the sky.


For a bare hour

she wraps the night around her

and conducts it like a sea.

A curl of her hand starts currents

that draw the breaths

out of all the creatures on the farm


and sends them back, charged and fertile.

The crops in the fields fatten,

even the worms

and crawling insects feel

a new sharpness and scurry

more boldly about their business.


When it’s done, she stoops and shuffles

back into the heavy skin.

Rolling belly-up

she invites them all to come to her.

In the dark she takes

their hundred sucking mouths.










poem © Diane Mulholland