Susan Butler: a poem



Striae*

Ask the artist to make

the true belly of the mother his muse


to colour the life lines

that ripple like prayer flags


to draw the sinuous line of the back

the shadow of the womb

the small remnant pleat

turn back beneath the heart

this is where all arms first stretch

this is where all feet first kick


this



*striae - a latin word for furrow or channel, used in clinical practice to describe stretch marks


Sue Butler grew up a convent-educated Catholic and studied medicine in the time of Women's Liberation and of having it all: a career in General Practice, husband and sons. In retirement she took up walking and Creative Writing, considering both to be unpredictable forms of meditation on life in all its grace, pain and peculiarity.