it came to her that happiness would feel like a lark 
rising from the pit of her stomach to her head 
to explode in a song only she would recognise.

That her heart was a walled garden 
tended by gardeners called Prudence, Constance and Faith, 
but her life bore a closer resemblance to a hilltop bog 
and the people in it, eggs laid by song-birds on the ground, 
invisible to the human eye yet utterly exposed.

That relationships were all about picking steps 
across that bog without disturbing any nests, 
and the possibility of joy somehow hung 
on an intimacy with frailty 
only known in wildness;

like the lark’s eggs, it was something 
that could not be grasped, something 
perpetually to be hatched.