poetry pf header


home> poets>Anne Stewart

Sylvia Rowbottom     about Sylvia      more poems

events listing


home button poets button features button

links button shop button about ppf button email ppf button




first published in The Interpreter's House, 25, Feb 2004


Meet the Ancestor


Walking home from work, I saw him,

poking at brambles where the slip meets Raglan Road.

He saw me too, although his back was turned.

My lightweight sound and smell carried no danger.


As I came up, he swivelled back to front,

upright, naked.  His manhood dropped into its thick-grown covert,

armpit plumes drifted across his chest, hair over hair,

his small bright eyes peered from beneath their ledge,

his huge scent swamped us both.


I tried to smile, nothing with showing teeth.

His eye-glint shifted, then his brown lips moved

into a scant reflection, his curving wrist approached

laid a brief finger on my inner thigh, withdrew at once.


Turning, he pulled a fruit, held it up and my hand took it,

my body knowing better what to do than I did.

I put it in my mouth.  He watched.


Suddenly, a great sigh heaved away from him.

His half-thoughts jostled and shoved at me,

urgently fronting nascent memory.

Strange formations of clouds, a moon shaking in water,

the tigerís bloodied underbelly skimming his mouth.


My ancestor bent over me, slid a soft leather hand behind my neck.

Carefully fitting his nostrils under mine,

he snorted gently up into my skull.


Sylvia Rowbottom


last update:

Sylvia Rowbottom photo



© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet
site feedback welcome