By Pauline Keith
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These poems draw on Pauline Keith’s childhood experiences in the family slaughter-yard. With an unflinching eye, emotional resilience and strong compassion she portrays the gruesome yet everyday business she grew up around. Here, that formative environment has produced compelling images and recollections in poems which throw light on an aspect of our world not often dwelt upon. For all their subject matter, these are rewarding poems of sensitivity and honesty.
‘Words and images in these sixteen poems are as sharp-pointed and keen-edged as the implements and ruthless attitudes they hint at.’
Mike Bartholemew-Biggs, londongrip
Childcare in the Slaughter Yard (ii)
She grew up close-acquainted
with blood’s many lovely reds
and the sequence of its thickening:
an opalescent stripiness that seeped
in rivulets and slowed to form
flat pads of solid-seeming matter:
rubbery, perhaps possible to peel
and lift? She prodded with her toe;
never touched with fingertips.