Origin story

I come from string, stringmakers
and mining pots, clusters on coasts,
boot in the backside of sodden sheep,
clipped coats and pared hooves. I come
from oil and grindings, sheen of pared gears
and rank stink of tyres melting on foreign soil.
I come from wind. Riding on drifts that swell
over skies that want no part of their trauma,
fallen things, falling things. I come from little birds
on garden walls, small archways cut so that children
could climb from one garden to another, calling auntie
wherever a woman is found. I come from chipped mugs
and fractured teeth, trampoline perils on the edge of the
park at night. I come from slick pavements, dark with ice
and the spotted tracks of cars struggling the ancient bends
in Christmas snow. I come from the moors, lands long cropped
now smeared with sheep and stuck on postcards I queue
to buy with fuel. I come from cement grey beach, then yellow
of builder’s sand, now white that glows to warn off sailors
creeping in at night. I come from words that aren’t my own,
wearing badges that claim names, snip birthmarks, swap
broken backs. I come from peace, to be always going, tied to
the ribs of a black mare that will never arrive where she should.


Image: Dương Trần Quốc on Unsplash



Siobhan Hodge

Siobhan Hodge has a PhD in English. She won the 2017 Kalang Eco-Poetry Award and 2015 Patricia Hackett Award. Her poetry and critical work has been published and translated widely. Her new chapbook, Justice for Romeo, is available through Cordite Books.

More by Siobhan Hodge ›

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Related articles & Essays