Izzy Lamb

To Sunhigh

Izzy Lamb

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I came to bloom among Normandy nettles.

Nursed on Calvados, cider,

œufs fermiers.

Then weened off to sink

teeth into beef,

venison then boar

until I am so full of Normandy

that no one could claim

I’m not Norman.

Wellies entrenched in the

Saint-Gervais stream still

and full bellied with winter snow.

The crayfish, translucent,

scurry over stones,

twisting in small oceans

that to me look like ripples.

I stand not in its heart

but one of its veins.

The artery that beats

at the end

of our garden.

If it has a name I don’t know it,

was never invited to its baptism.

Only its source has been mapped,

it’s arms – according to Michelin

and Google Maps – don’t exist,

so no one notices how far

its embrace furls.

It winds around Les Poteries,

cradles Le Fouqué tight

and further


on to the field of the farmer

who I recognise

from his worn flannel shirts

and the cigarette butts he leaves

as though shaken from trees.

And the oaks bow overhead,

a shield against tractors

with their fumes

and grey torrents

that linger too long on the skin

of chestnut and Bramley apples,

in the heat of Mum’s kitchen,

fouling the salmon in foil,

asparagus, broccoli,

tomatoes plucked from the vine,

once fresh as the mud

that oozes in clouds

in the water under my feet,

pointing west.

Izzy Lamb

Izzy Lamb spent most of her upbringing in The Hague, Normandy and Paris before moving back to the UK for university. She now lives in London, where she works as an Editorial Assistant and Project Manager at ISTE, a science book publisher. Her poetry has previously appeared in Otoliths and Morphrog.