ONE POEM — Louise McStravick

Courtesy of Ramon Oromí via Flickr

Sheela na gig
After Seamus Heaney

Oh she’s got pinioned elbows alright
she roots you with her graphic imagery,
along with all the others, centuries of them on
her eave-humped back. Of course she knows
how it works, her gripping fingers forget
formalities, a gash is a gaping hole;
a leaking roof. She knows exactly what she is doing,
her cannonball head fertile: ready.
Flash your eyes, they were pointed upwards all along.

Look! She is spreading herself –
no need to measure the width of her hips
she invites us in; musty bird shit soaked body,
mould stained pendulum tits, the yeast of her
gone-off holy water.

Not so much hunkered more Instagram postured
than Only Fans – I’m sure she works in finance
she looks suspiciously like your mom, or your sister
or that girl next door who just wouldn’t stop looking.

We look up to her, I’ll teach you how
it works she says to the ram’s head, the birds eye
her mouth devouring snake heads,
to anyone who will listen;
yes look at me, kissy heart face emoji
just be sure you don’t forget
to look at every other damn thing.

Louise McStravick is a writer and educator from Birmingham. She has performed her poetry across the UK and abroad and has had her work featured on BBC Berkshire. Her first collection, How to Make Curry Goat is Out now with Fly on the Wall Press.

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