The Most Beautiful Part of My Daughter
is not what I expected it to be.
She has sated my narcissistic want
for lips to mirror mine, she has
the exact same straightness of hair.
It is near the knuckle of her right hand
that I am drawn to. Her little finger’s nub,
fringed by miniscule dots of brown.
Freckles not there at birth, I’m sure of it.
They came perhaps two years later,
when my head was turned by work,
and remained unnoticed
until she rested a dripping palm
on the side of the bath.
How did they come, these sweet explosions
on her skin? This constellation.
How did I not hear its boom?
She laughs now when I kiss them,
and as I guide her across roads, fields,
the path to and from school,
I almost feel them, celestial co-ordinates,
charting themselves in my clasp.
The Exclusion Zone
‘… animals thriving within miles of a major nuclear accident illustrate the resilience of wildlife populations when freed from the pressures of human habitation’.
Jim Beasley, University of Georgia, The Financial Times magazine, October 17th, 2015
This is where the wolves came –
their bodies hot with fallout,
watched only by the windows
of derelict shacks. Elk, roe, lynx –
able to love this toxic place,
lay claim to its dark variants
of grass and tree. Wild boar
stampeded from the pages
of Ukrainian tales
into evacuated farms, villages
void of children. When everything
was scorched, and teeming
with crackling ghosts
it was the brown bears
who repopulated and thrived.
For these contaminated
beasts, the handling of land
was always possible, innate.
Rebecca Goss‘s first collection The Anatomy of Structures was published by Flambard Press in 2010. Her second collection, Her Birth (Carcanet/Northern House), was shortlisted for The 2013 Forward Prize for Best Collection, The Warwick Prize for Writing 2015 and The Portico Prize for Literature 2015. It was winner of the Poetry Category in The 2013 East Anglian Book Awards. In 2014 Rebecca was selected for The Poetry Book Society’s Next Generation Poets.