Behind the fence the children call in tongues,
New words for sky and songs of red and green.
I do not know the names they give the clouds
Or why the blue wheelbarrow holds their king.
I see them tumble over steps and wheel
Across the grass, a flock of arms and legs
And ululations coming close to song
Then veering off to leave the chant in rags.
They're marching now, all out of time and order,
Soft fists waving, feet that try to stamp.
A class of nursery children mock parading
Ape their elders' pomp and circumstance,
A wheelbarrowed king resplendent waving -
My son, my son, I did not know you.
Anne Clark says: "I'm short, curly-haired and bespectacled, well over 50 and Scottish. I'm a novelist with a mortal fear of writing poetry. This one is the result of a class on the Creative Writing degree course at Newcastle University and scares me because I don't quite understand it. I found the sonnet form liberating because it gave me a structure to work in. I've promised the goddess of poetry that I'll worship her in my next life if she will stop bugging me in this one and let me get back to writing novels."
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Motherhood © 2012 Anne Clark: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.