‘Let my words be bright with animals’
from ‘Prayer’ by Joseph Bruchac
Let my verbs be studded with Glow Worms.
Let Painted Ladies flit from each vowel I sound.
Let my prose be overwritten with Purple Frogs.
Let Baboons moon at my proper nouns.
Let Flamingoes paddle in the shallows of my gossip.
Let Clownfish swim in memories’ depths.
Let Satin Bower Birds use my blue language
to decorate their nests.
Let Bonobos get personal with my pronouns.
Let Impalas graze the great plain of my tongue.
Whenever I sing, from the roof of my mouth
let Orange Fruit Bats hang.
And at night, as darkness peaks,
let a Two-toed Sloth creep upside-down
through my mumbling canopy of sleep.
Let Wildebeest migrate with my yelling.
Let my softer speech be beached with Natterjack Toads.
Let Pygmy Hippos tinge my whispers.
Let my winter breath make Baiji-wraithes
Susan Richardson is a poet, performer and educator based in Wales. Her latest collection, Where the Air is Rarefied, a collaboration with visual artist Pat Gregory, focuses on mythological and environmental themes relating to the Arctic and sub-Arctic. Her third collection, themed around human-animal metamorphosis and exploring our dys/functional relationship with the wild, will be published in 2015. www.susanrichardsonwriter.co.uk