Nam Mater Mea – New Poetry by Blake Auden

Joint Winner of the Letter Review Prize for Poetry

i.      In the field,
        light cuts across my palms
        and draws nothing
        but a new shadow. A gift
        mistaken for darkness.

ii.     In a poem
        you can be anything
        but a better

iii.    Half a country away,
        I carry your name –
        a hummingbird
        between my palms.

iv.    You never taught me
        how to suffer, mother.
        Which is to say
        I still don’t have your strength.

v.     Once, I didn’t come home
        for two weeks
        because I didn’t want you
        to see the bruises. The razors
        marking my arms.

vi.    I have never wanted you
        to know how little
        I cared for the body you made.
                            The body you carried.

vii.    For a while, it was just me
                            and you.
        Nobody teaches you
        the cost of truth, mother.
        But you showed me the value

viii.  of living.
        Even when the world
        is suffocating.

ix.    A word
        like love
        is a guillotine, falling.
        Cutting into the meaning
                            like it’s enough.

x.     Like we can ever
        describe the gratitude
        for our creator.

Blake Auden is a poet and author based in Brighton, UK. He has been featured in Forbes, Metro, The Bookseller, Book Riot, The Economic Times, Sussex Life, Coast Magazine, The Mirror and scores of others. He is a winner of the Button Poetry Short Form Prize, and the judge for the The Moth 2023 Poetry Prize.

Original Artwork Supplied by Art Director Kita Das