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History of our bookishness


I was lemon yellow epithet. 29 + 9 months
I was a May bloomer, February-born.
Mother and me.

Washer fists, baskets of us,
a string of us. (What if this womb
wasn’t in the string?)

The protectorate (my parent)
had a bearing. I was given a stipend of blood.
Mother of mother

and mother of her.
Scroll-light, library air. Eleri Glyn,
Catherine Glyn. Uterus-lining the

line. Mebi Lloyd,
Catherine Lloyd. Their tubed-up non-degrees
and a mortar board – the lantern

that reads by us. Going back
a generation and a half and a half
to the polar unknown of us

and our pocket-sized. Some prayer-book
literacy. Not an identity.
Umbilicised – our a gaps of  quiet,

quilts for the mend, help for the mangle.
Milliner hustings. They
mended their theses then put them away.