This week’s Friday Poem is taken from Ilse Pedler’s new poetry pamphlet The Dogs that Chase Bicycle Wheels.
Ilse Pedler’s marvelous debut poetry booklet, The Dogs that Chase Bicycle Wheels, won the 2015 Mslexia Poetry Pamphlet Competition. Many of her poems are about animals and how they interact with humans, and reflect her working life as a Veterinary Surgeon. Pedler has a careful, empathetic eye for the characteristics of the animals she comes across. Humans and their secrets are also observed, with a sharp wryness but also with a characteristic gentleness.
We are divided into compartments,
separated by taut membranes,
glistening planes of connective tissue,
Today this is damaged,
anaesthetized, surgically explored
your diaphragm is a torn curtain hanging
and like a peep show I’m drawn to look behind.
In the absence of pressure lungs hesitate
to inflate, do their best to conceal
the frantic convulsions at your core,
the struggle for rebirth every second.
I look perhaps longer than I should
at the shuddering flesh, the labouring
beauty, then I pull the curtain back over
and suture the secret inside.