First came a taste for meat
and odd bursts of irritation
like an itch along her spine.

Then she lost the urge to speak.
She’d curl up in the back room,
whole days at a time,

and at night she’d sleep-walk
through the house, nudging
at the windows and the doors,

lifting her face to the draughts,
listening to a wood louse
scratching under the apple bark.

She wondered at sofas and knives,
and no longer knew the meaning
of milk or the colour red,

what hot was and cold, and nice,
why some things shone and some
were dark, and why the baby cried.