She knits something pink
with curved needles,

pauses only to check
and recheck the lines

of code that define the pattern
she nibbles with her fingers.

She casts off
the raised levels of FHA,

her daughter’s ovulation,
the tantalising egg in its follicle,

the unfair curse,
inscribed in DNA,

premature ovarian failure.
She completes a row

‘last of the line’.
Nothing can undo the pattern now,

no return to freeze some harvest,
no retrace of steps to solve

the puzzle. The blankness
hums and purls.


John Davies’ published work includes two pamphlet collections (The Nutter in the Shrubbery and Glove Poems) and the full collection Shedman, as well as Our Storeys a book about art and poetry in healthcare written with artist Sue Ridge. He was the first non-Irish editor of The Stony Thursday Book, an annual anthology of contemporary poetry published in Ireland. Jizz – New & Selected Poems was published in 2018 by Kingston University Press in the UK and (as Nest) by Red Hen Press in the USA. John was an award winner in the 2020 Wales Poetry Awards.