Sunday, 18 March 2012


On one of my many maunderings around the Museum of Scotland, I saw a young pregnant woman who was wearing, stretched across her gravid abdomen, a blue tee-shirt.  On it was printed a rotund cartoon character swaddled with bandages and plasters, beneath which I read, Mr BUMP! Oh, how amusing, I thought, and went off in search for another of my 26 Treasures to write 62 words about, to coincide with my birthday (which was last Wednesday) and Mothering Sunday. 

And here it is: an architectural stone from a church in Kirknewton, depicting a mother giving birth, firmly supported by another person. Presumably, the father. But if the last blog-entry is anything to go by, you can never be too sure.


The Medieval Church took childbirth
   more seriously than we do now.
Call it ‘gravitas’ – engraving a gargoyle
   on a wedge; carving out an entrance
on a jutting, stone protuberance
   the contorted, grotesque, strangled
limbs of a woman in the throes of her travail.
   I marvelled at their chiselled pain;
the mortal immortality of giving up a life…
   while I sculpted a sestude.