Rosamund Taylor
Content Warnings
"The human parents, afraid to say I am wrong,..."
Dec 28, 2020 9:50 PM

The human parents, afraid to say I am wrong,

tuck me in at night. I watch

streetlights shape the ceiling. Sometimes I cry,

and sometimes the human child, the stolen

child, remembers for me: painting butterflies,

pancakes at dawn, her mother's palm.

She shares my memories too—patterns of lichen,

chill caves, day-long drips of water,

and myself as I was: a tree-root,

an empty burrow, a bat's shadow. Stolen. 

I was stolen too. Unformed, I belonged only to myself

until shaped into arms and eyes and scream,

given a hairband and a schoolbag. Ballet slippers. 

The human child, wild and laughing now, 

she's always laughing, those dances

around peat-lakes never blister her feet.

I'm no longer made from rot and dark, but not

human, either. Under a pink duvet, wakeful.

In 2017, ROSAMUND TAYLOR won the inaugural Mairtín Crawford award and was nominated for a Forward Prize. Most recently, her work has appeared in Agenda, Orbis, BansheeCrannóg and Magma. She has been twice short-listed for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, won joint second-place for the Patrick Kavanagh Award 2015, and is currently working on her first poetry collection. You can read more of her work on TheLearnedPig.Org ( and (