Belly wet. by Charley Barnes

The boy prefers the fields before they’re cut –
likes the lick of grass along his small gut,
how the blades make tongues
of themselves, the dew their spit and dribble.
When the turf is slashed I feel the absence
for him, see in his infant face
the loss of tickles, touches from nature.
But we will wait the necessary weeks,
come again when the earth has been muddied
and the roots are reaching upward.
The boy will reign over the damp grounds,
feel them grow beneath him
so we might leave for home, being belly wet
and happy.

Charley Barnes is a poet, author and academic from Worcester, UK. She has published a number of pamphlets, most recently Hierarchy of Needs: A Retelling, that she co-authored with Claire Walker. Charley's debut full length, Lore, will be published by Black Pear Press in February 2021.