My spine ran cold at the headline news.
They found the body and we’ve been caught
with blood on our hands.
We are killing our mother.
I held her down while you went through her purse,
removing the oil, the trees, with nothing much left
we choked up the air.
I plunged my hands into her soft earth
and motionless, I watched the life drain
through my tightening grip,
my fingers like forks to forage again.
I am as guilty as you,
when we collected her life in a jar on a string
to stare at our neighbours before cutting them down.
We’ve come to the point when it’s do or let die, garden, eden
don’t make her last breath a disappointed last sigh.
Bring your cheek close to hers and check for faint breathing,
rising up from the ground like a whisper
of hope from Earth’s barren belly.
Sit at her bedside and talk of old times,
then wonder if it’s really too late.
If that weren’t enough –
on mother’s tired skin,
we drilled to the bone and poured poison in.
We could have disposed of the body, who would have known
that someone was watching?
We must have been seen – caught in the act.
Our actions were thoughtless, evidence obscene.
She gave birth to our people
before the tears on her cheeks started to rise
like the salt in the sea.
Still, that doesn’t stop us watching her fail.
She fed us from babes
and we won’t stop sucking her breast.
She looks to the stars and gasps her last breath.
Pull down her eyelids, lower the canopy,
wipe down the surface at the scene of the crime –
let her return to the garden of Eden.
Clive Grewcock is a writer based in the Scottish Highlands with a particular interest in language and the way it can evoke a depth and emotion through creativity. "Poetry has a wonderful power in our world, not necessarily in a shouting way but also with subtlety and asking others to invest and bring something of themselves to the work. It is good to contemplate and consider through writing."