Tuesday, 24 April 2012

I am fascinated by the story of Lyuba, the baby woollly mammoth discovered in Siberia. Here is a poem I have written for her, and some pictures too.

(a baby woolly mammoth preserved in permafrost)
on that day
her mother suckled her
(there is milk in the contents
of her gut)

 on that day
her mammoth hair
(strawberry-blond the DNA shows)
grew a little bit more
on that day
she sipped water from a stream
(at one month old her trunk was long)

 on that day
she lost her tail
(no trace of it was found)

 we do not know the season
or what time of day it was
when she lumbered onto mud

 nor do we know how long it took
for her to be sucked down

 nor how much mud
she swallowed
as she died

 (there was sediment in her mouth
and in her throat)

 all we know
is on that day
she sank in a bog and life for her
was gone
and we’ll never know
if her mother searched or grieved and ached
with unusable milk

on that day