Poem: Alasdair Gray © 2005


For two or three weeks she walked
as if she was protecting something
being a curved box with a seed in it, a life enclosing a life.
Her face looked washed in brine and scrubbed by the wind
but something inside ripened it
and she lay a while on the steps in the sunlight,
nearly a woman
and a few vague thoughts came and went in her head.

"Men are strong like dragons."
"Women, though not weak, are in weak positions."
"I always bent like grass in front of the wind,
what good did it do?"
"I still love him."

Sometimes Mandragon hurried past with a casual word
and a keen bitter pleasure stabbed her like a knife
to think she would soon suffer his most dreadful insult;
ut suffering also the repose and weariness of fruition
she spread her body on the stone in the sun
and prepared to vomit the debris of something human.

Now she had given birth to a death
and the casket has collapsed inward on its vacancy.

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