Veronica Ashenhurst


(listen to the poem, read by the author)

I felt muzzled in those flat, troubled years,
A desert tortoise who knew secret burrow,
Quiet’s heft, modest earth: I learnt the view from bed.
The words they said lent me tough carapace,
Face withdrawn, ready for the smallest slight.
And in the wounded places, diffidence.
One day, the tortoise tunnelled so far down,
A lioness emerged from my inmost depths,
Her muscles staunch, her coat a woollen jewel.
The creature’s eyes sparked gold, she inhaled
The world, then bellowed out.  The sound was red
Missile, an echoing primordial roar.
We had been missing from our lives so long,
No one had thought to notice us before.

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About the Author

Veronica Ashenhurst is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, in Canada, and has published articles on legal education in the Dalhousie Law Journal, the Ottawa Law Review, and the Canadian Legal Education Annual Review. Her poetry is forthcoming in Breath & Shadow and Uppagus. She lives with severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).