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Wales - The shapes she makes

 

I was defining her
On a clean slate,
Fleshing out her frontiers
Badgering her to her borders
In red ink;
When a foreign student said,
‘It’s like a pig running away’;
Laughing done with,
I believe her;
The northern snout
Hoofing it faster
Than her southern rump,
Fleeing her slaughterers.

She’s made of shapes, you know:

The slack old mouth, agape
Or the lazy, lolling arm,
Resting on its oars;
The jumper, of course,
Half-done,
Wrapped around a bit of wool and the needles,
Or else, she’s a pair of scissors
Ready to ribbon herself,
An adventurer’s double-hafted knife,
Or an earthen pitcher,
Hollow and cracked.

She’s polysyllabled pictures,
This inleted landmass
I swap with acquaintances
And with the foreigner
Who sees her for what she is:
Comically scattered
Who is,
On my life,
Like an unerring boomerang which wills
Wills
Its
Way
Back
To
My
Feet.

Translated by Elin ap Hywel