Northwords Now Issue 36

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Sheela-na-gig

by Sharon Black

She looks out wearing light    
across the south end of the island. The chapel
is scaffolded, interlocking poles

rising thirty feet high beyond the wall.
The opening on which she sits –
legs spread, labia

pulled wide –
is an arch of basalt and red granite,
weathered and freckled with light. A steel pole

has been thrust through.
Fencing on the other side divides the view
into twelve square frames: blue sky, two sheep

on a sill above the bay, a skein of geese
arrowing north beyond the abbey’s
heavy coat of grey.