Gossiping in Gaia

It was a golden afternoon and we
were just three women, gossiping in Gaia,
passing the time of day, discussing
this and that among the herbs and bottles
of the small apothecary shop.

Squeezed around the till we
took up space, filling the room
with chatter and the sunny mellow aura
of the pregnant one in full bloom
of motherhood with her fourth child.

Tall, brown and smiling she was
dressed for coolness and comfort
in loose shorts and a simple top
of russet gold and yellow cream,
reflecting the glow of her skin
and wildly plaited hair.

And she was beautiful – come to buy
raspberry leaf and nettle tea,
the simple tools of natural birth
and the talk was all of honeybees and happiness
and the virtues of fat midwives
with kids of their own
and lots of experience.

I recalled the wise woman
who blessed the day my son was born
by humming songs as she did her work.
She was so big she seemed about to burst
with fruitfulness – it was such a gift
and made my labour easy.

My friend, a bee keeper, described
the curving shell of a large round hive
hanging like a ripened nut
on the slopes of her garden in the sun.
The colony inside its dome
have flourished and their numbers grown.

And the round bump of the unborn child,
nestling in our midst, bounced lightly, danced
and chuckled under the T-shirt top
as we laughed and gossiped
in Gaia, the apothecary shop.

B Desborough 20/09/2013