Renée Eshel


Mountain View

Waiting: a poem

I am stroking the bottom of the barrel, sticky jam and sour honey are stuck to my tongue and lips and the pages of my imagination. I read and read and read until the pressed work will eventually become formative and widen the four walls, expansive. But for now, I am a size too small, the fresh scabs on my knees are accidental, dirty, and healing and my hair ties like a noose around my hips, caressing me, keeping me young. The monarch in the cavity is alive and well, her wings stretch wide, fragile, but firm, directing my hands to branches and leaf handles. They do not break when they are trodden on, I do not chew on my fatness, there are no broken clasps. I look down to insects on the hair of my legs and the swell of my belly, I am full, I have lapped up the dew of summer and am satiated. I do not fear hunger, I am not indebted to winter, I am pouring jelly through the gaps in my teeth and transporting frogs to basins. I knit yarn together with unblemished fingers and march through playgrounds, hardy, fierce and entirely unafraid. I cut my hair and bleach my favourite dress and then wear clips and the sodden fabric for weeks - mistakes are frequent, fixable, and fickle. I collect fossils, marbles, stamps, cards, sequential hobbies that will ebb and flow, becoming slack and lean. Constellations are only as big as the stars plastered on my ceiling, my knowledge does not move further than my mouth, my hands are the right size. My hands are exactly the right size.

Renée Eshel is a third-year HSPS student at Newnham College.