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Thalidomide II / What if Rosie Moriarty-Symons met Sylvia Plath by chance down Cardiff High Street
- Jilly O’Brien

in a pram 

I am my young mother’s treasure
pocketed – 

carried carefully home. 
Peeling back 

satin edged waffle blankets
freezes the smile 

off the passer by
as we wheel by. Baby joy 

spills over the ground
more a salt lick 

than a willow tree
That’s me, infant manatee 

finning through liquid love
Coming up for air 

bubbling laughter
through a copper still 

I carry  
a message in that bottle  

I hope. You
yearn to be graded  

on genius,  
not madness   

Yet you wince,  

Blanch like peas and bishops  
at another’s sausage casing  

The butchers window  
catching your reflection  

My mouth  

Paintings sell   
for fistfuls of dollars

Who else kisses your page? 
Who else treads 

colour like a grape harvest? 
Many moons swell and sliver  

Since we lost  
the instruction booklet 

But look
We made it 


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