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. Fragment 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.