Freda Laughton was born in Bristol in 1907 but moved to Down after her marriage. Her poetry was featured regularly in The Bell and she published a single collection, A Transitory House, in 1945. Rain on a Cottage Roof and The Woman with Child are both from this collection.
RAIN ON A COTTAGE ROOF
Slight rain seems to purr;
A heavier shower murmur,
As bees hum.
Huge hands pummel and knead
The roof under
Thunder’s indigo stampede.
Rain hoofs thrum.
Now hear the house become
THE WOMAN WITH CHILD
How I am held within a tranquil shell,
As if I too were close within a womb,
I too enfolded as I fold the child.
As the tight bud enwraps the pleated leaf,
The blossom furled like an enfolded fan,
So life enfold me as I fold my flower.
As water lies within a lovely bowl,
I lie within my life, and life again
Lies folded fast within my living cell.
The apple waxes at the blossom’s root,
And like the moon I mellow to the round
Full circle of my being, till I too
Am ripe with living and my fruit is grown.
Then break the shell of life. We shall be born,
My child and I, together, to the sun.