I am the incubator that preserved my life
I am my father’s hand holding me up to the camera
I am the girl who went before me, whose name I was given
I am the dart stuck in my mother’s hand
I am the swallowing sea defeated three times.

I am the curlews singing among the bog cotton
I am the sun shining on sweating backs
I am the sound of wet turf slapping into waiting arms
I am the ant hills found no matter how long is spent avoiding them
I am the stars seen lying back on the mudguard of a tractor

I am the scrabbling in hard frozen soil for food and pay
I am the water sloshing from bucket to freezing legs on the uphill walk
I am the turf smoke curling blue around the room
I am the tilley lamp and the davy lamp burning into the night
I am the five pairs of eyes squeezed closed in one bed waiting for 5am Christmas morning

I am the apples gathered in a thunderstorm and the hazelnuts gathered in the glen
I am the sound of the countryside with distant hum and bleating of sheep
I am the horse who followed me home into the kitchen
I am the cat’s slave and the dog’s mistress
I am the runner in the fields to head off escaping cows

I am a child of the Silver Seal and the Mountain Man
I am daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, niece and friend
I am babysitter and housesitter and dog feeder
I am a listener to tales and a reader of stories
I am a singer of songs, a poem scribbler

I am my rock, my shield, my guard, my love
I am the serenade and songs written just for me
I am long walks and quiet times, the laughter and the tears
I am nights in watching TV and nights out at the cinema
I am enveloped in warmth and wrapped in belonging

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