Everything You Think I Am We Are Not

Men erode the mountain,
conquering her peaks and thrusting
their flags at her summit.
Their sweat etches lines in flinty faces,
all guts and glory,
as if there is only one way to skin a cat.
Men die icy,
their skin drying to parchment,
sepulchres telling tales;
that it is better to have died trying.
Did they finally recognise the face of God?

I am not
an I
but many.
Lichen. Legion.
We are an ecosystem.
We eat the mountain.
by fragment,
she is rendered soft and dissolves
to honeydew
in our body.
We mould her
and caress her,
birth her fragments into earth;
rich, mineralised soil
in which the women of the valley grow their yam.

by Fiona Dignan

Fiona Dignan is a stay-at-home mum of four young children. She started writing poetry and short fiction during lockdown to cope with the mayhem of homeschool. Her work is mostly based around the theme of motherhood and she aims to start honest conversations around maternal mental health, baby loss and the everyday trials and joys of raising children. She also writes about nature, identity, sexuality and language.