THE FROGMORE POETRY PRIZE 2010

Paul Groves

THE GREEN CHILD

They didn’t want me to keep it. I said
‘I love it. You have no right.’ The tests
came, of course, the puzzled frowns.
I’d never met so many specialists,
each flummoxed. It suckled me like
a bat. Its small belches were beautiful.
Chloro-this, virid-that: they required
a name, but it transcended taxonomies.
Pink-gloved hands lifted and lowered
its warm weight; faeces were spirited
away as if moondust; its golden urine
was prized like centuries-old Tokay.
All I wanted was those eyes’ surrender,
our bond’s unique ordinariness. They
asked after the father. All I would say
was ‘Consult your almanacs. Tell me
if it was expected.’ The only clue:
‘Alpha Centauri’. Ptolemy of Alexandria
wrote in AD 150: ‘The Milky Way is
no circle but a zone, everywhere as white
as...’ my beestings, my holy colostrum.
Although eventually our nexus will snap,
my breasts no longer providing enough
sustenance, I shall continue to wear beads
of emerald and jade, silks of eau-de-nil.

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