How My Father Came By the Name of Cuthbert
A girl who would become a saint
sat without oars 
in a boat of hide—a coracle—
and waited for the gulls
to feed her fish. One bird
in particular would often take the gold-red hair
escaped from her braids
into its beak and work it back 
into place.  The boat floated up the firth
and when it was time for the girl
to give birth,  she cupped her hands 
into the water and aimed toward 
land through the center of each wave.
The beach where she lay after the boy
was born was called Culross.  The mute 
sometimes uttered words when walking
there; irrational folk experienced 
flashes of reason wandering that shore. 
And Mungo, the son, as an adult, 
became known by our crowd for bringing
my poor pet redbird back from the dead.
Copyright © 2004–2021 Memorious