Poem of the Week | Maw by Sadhbh Goodwin


by Sadhbh Goodwin


Pull out the tooth,

Excalibur from the gum, feel the wriggle and rattle and eventual give since of course!

You are the Chosen One, the Arthur of your own insignificant epoch.

Nurture this milky relic for it is yours to keep, keep it close to your chest, cradle it,

like the dull throb of a newly pierced ear.

Run your tongue hungrily over the lull in the landscape.


I plunge my hands into the soil in search of fossils

the earth is cold and heavy and lodges itself under my fingernails,

pebbled in miniscule stratum,

a reminder that there is no room for blood, and there is no true empty since

the new tooth has already started to come in.


I have always buried the broken things at the bottom of my garden,

shattered crockery, milk teeth, dead leaves.

I dig a hole and with my shovel, deposit this childhood mulch,

replace the lifted sod and press down firm on loose earth with my bare feet.

In a hundred years’ time this soul-compost will be ready to make green again.


We sheathe our dead in stone and build portals,

time capsule our ancestors so that the generations-to-come can look back

and wax lyrical about loss and those good old days that flit rare as butterflies.

Chanting the mycelium gospel, the glowing doctrine

that mutual dependence is so very necessary to social well-being,

those gentle, pulsing mutualisms.


We leave a tumult of freshly turned earth in our wake and send out tendrils of digital hyphae

glittering blue and thrumming with information.

So, tie a string around the truth, make sure the other end is securely attached

to the doorknob and pull.

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Cover photo by Dylan de Jonge on Unsplash