Nobody’s Daughter and For My Lost by Pippa Little

Nobody’s Daughter
Pippa Little

Pain stuns everything
but body memory:

I’m eleven again, sinking gin
from the mother who tells me I’m cursed:

body, I don’t know you, red
engine racking up

birth-cramps I thought I had forgotten:
I’m the last half-cracked howl

in a chamber of soft and helpless secrecies,
all that comes to life and all that’s dying –

gone beyond mothering
I’m nobody’s daughter now

and grieve the only way I know,
with the brindle bitch who lies, grey muzzle

heavy and hard on my thigh, beyond
touch or consolation.

For My Lost

You-dot in yolk
dark snag in the flare nebula
my body the light bulb
that burned you up
my want the dark matter crowding
your feeble constellation
so one by one each cell fizzled out
we crashed in bloody sea-swell
I surfaced without you.

Pippa Little was born in Tanzania and now lives in North East England. She has four collections, the most recent, Overwintering, from OxfordPoets/Carcanet, shortlisted for The Seamus Heaney Centre Prize. She has won many awards, been published widely in anthologies across the world and has read her work as far and wide as StAnza Poetry Festival in Scotland and in Mexico City.

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