Wendy French

Our Farm

Imagine I say to my children
a kitchen like no other
the hum andhisstleyes that word will do
of a range that lives on like the oldest of the apply trees
in the orchard

hams hanging from a beam
held by gigantic screws and a brown teapot never empty
and boots dirty boots caked in mud
by the scullery door you don’t know what a scullery is

jams, marmalades, pickles stored for winter milk bottles
and butter pats on slabs and Mam-Gu on her knees
scrubbing the floor

Oh yes its hard to imagine a small farmhouse
in a corner of Wales not much happens daily
cows are milked lambs born men fed
an old woman dies a child is born

a young girl suffering with tonsillitis
has her tonsils removed
as she lies on the kitchen table
this Oh there is this and so much more

Mam-Gu Grandmother

Wendy French has four full collections of poetry and won the Hippocrates Poetry and Medicine prize for the NHS section in 2010 and was awarded second prize in 2011. She facilitates creative writing in healthcare settings. With Jane Kirwan she wrote the book Born in the NHS, and was Poet-in-Residence at the University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre in
2015. She has changed direction temporarily with her writing and is exploring her ancestory.