Vipers cross the July soil with impunity
through gilded barley stretching to infinity
each muscular twist of scales a lightning bolt –
beware of the snakes, now, stay out of the tall hay –
won’t you listen, God damn it? Don’t you know
what’s the worst that can happen, child,
can’t you see it right before your eyes, open, closed?
There is no mercy in this world. The sun is too high
and the work is undone. I dream of gathering
your small bodies into my arms, a kinetic lullaby,
gentler than I ever knew how to be.

I will watch you walk far beyond these fields
over the snakes. One day I will see you bury
their hides so deep into the bloodied earth

Kaisa Saarinen grew up in the Finnish countryside and now lives in London. Her first book of prose and poetry, ‘Voideuse’, is out from Feral Dove. Her first novel, ‘Weather Underwater’, will be released in spring 2023.

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