Monstering

Disabled Women and Nonbinary People Celebrating Monsterhood

Changeling

The human parents, afraid to say I am wrong,  
tuck me in at night. I watch
streetlights shape the ceiling. Sometimes I cry, 

and sometimes the human child, the stolen
child, remembers for me: painting butterflies,
pancakes at dawn, her mother's palm. 

She shares my memories too—patterns of lichen, 
chill caves, day-long drips of water, 
and myself as I was: a tree-root, 

an empty burrow, a bat's shadow. Stolen. 
I was stolen too. Unformed, I belonged only to myself
until shaped into arms and eyes and scream, 

given a hairband and a schoolbag. Ballet slippers. 
The human child, wild and laughing now, 
she's always laughing, those dances 

around peat-lakes never blister her feet.
I'm no longer made from rot and dark, but not
human, either. Under a pink duvet, wakeful. 

 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The image is portrait style. It shows the upper two-thirds of a woman in her twenties. She has her head tilted slightly to the right and is smiling. She has long wavy brown hair, pale skin, and wears glasses. Her hands are by her sides. She is wearing a dark green long-sleeved t-shirt and black trousers. She is standing in front of an elder bush and is surrounded by green leaves. Tree branches can be seen behind her, and to her right small white flowers are visible among the leaves.

The image is portrait style. It shows the upper two-thirds of a woman in her twenties. She has her head tilted slightly to the right and is smiling. She has long wavy brown hair, pale skin, and wears glasses. Her hands are by her sides. She is wearing a dark green long-sleeved t-shirt and black trousers. She is standing in front of an elder bush and is surrounded by green leaves. Tree branches can be seen behind her, and to her right small white flowers are visible among the leaves.

In 2017, ROSAMUND TAYLOR won the inaugural Mairtín Crawford award and was nominated for a Forward Prize. Most recently, her work has appeared in Agenda, Orbis, BansheeCrannóg and Magma. She has been twice short-listed for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, won joint second-place for the Patrick Kavanagh Award 2015, and is currently working on her first poetry collection. You can read more of her work on TheLearnedPig.Org (http://www.thelearnedpig.org/author/rosamund-taylor) and HeadStuff.org (https://www.headstuff.org/literature/typhoid/).