Kerry Priest

Medicine Wheel

Approaching the hospital, she calls in the spirits of the
west,
of science and surfaces and accurate measurement.
Early light shredding the sky behind the tower

reminds her of all the dawns to come: false dawns,
divine sparks, hot heads and hot flushes, tempers inflamed
and snap decisions. For these many fires, she calls in

the spirits of the east, takes deep breaths in the car park,
prepares for the piped-about air inside, she calls in
the spirits of the north, the sylphs of oxygen and nitrous
oxide,

praying that she might be giddy and feel no pain
as they suck out ten of her moons and add them in a
petridish
to that thousand eyed demon, the copius squiggle of
spermatazoa.

She chooses a white seat in the waiting room near a
potted palm.
Her husband will arrive soon and then it will all begin.
Love Shack is on the radio and she thinks of the room
where he will produce the goods, its clamminess.

All that remain are the spirits of the south, which are
completion
and fruiting and endings, according to her book
on how to be shaman.

So, entering the room, she calls them in too,
and just to be sure, she calls in again the spirits of the
west,
of big data and small miracles,
of brisk nurses striding the lino like wolf-women.

Out the window, herb robert is taking hold and pennywort
has snuck into some wallcracks. Is that three-cornered
leek?
She’ll pick some once all this is over.

Kerry is one of Eyewear’s Best New British And Irish Poets 2018. She had two poems shortlisted for the Bridport prize in 2017.
She studied Anthropology and Linguistics at Edinburgh University and taught English and Cultural Studies at Eichstaett and Humboldt Universities in Germany.
Kerry composes experimental multimedia work. Her radio drama, “The Assisi Machine” was broadcast in August on Radio FM and her band Drones Over Keyham will close the Plymouth Art Weekender in September.