Hemingford Grey

This poem was published in the Scottish Review of Poetry in 2010 but is no longer available online, so I’ve put it up here. 

Hemingford Grey

‘a ebony mouse, life-sized with shiny black eyes. It was so cleverly carved that you could see every hair, and it felt like fur to stroke’ The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston

I first held this mouse in my hand when I was eight,
Its weight and shape deceptive, it tugged at me,
Shrugged off petty realness to create reality
From fiction. This was an artefact of a life unlived
Except on paper, and yet, like him, I could have sworn I felt
It twitch. That was the moment that the itch
Of narrative locked into place. The mouse fits
The snug clutch of my fist exactly and my thumb its ears.
Years later, this resin replica recalls the sunlight
Filling that day; feather-fine dormouse hairs defy
Smoothness. My memory curls around him with his tail:
Serpentine it catches on my finger tip




© Victoria Elliott 2009


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