To Be Welsh in Gower
To be Welsh in Gower is to spell it funny
and pronounce it worse: Gŵyr.
It’s to know how to say Pwll Ddu.
It’s meeting the cows in the lane to Brandy Cove
and knowing them all by name and reputation,
which one kicks, which one gores,
when to walk in the middle of the lane,
and when to jump for the safety of the hedge.
It’s to know the difference between the twin farmers
Upper Jones and Lower Jones.
It’s to recognize their sheepdogs, Floss and Jess,
and to call them with their different whistles.
It’s knowing the time of day by sun and shadow.
It’s knowing the tide is in or out
by the salt smell in the air
without ever needing to see the sea;
and now, in this far off land,
it’s hearing your stomach growl
for caws wedi pobi, crempog or teisen lap
whilst memory’s fish-hook tugs at your heart
like your father tugged at salmon bass,
fishing from the sand-pebbled beach
at Rhossili, Pennard, or Three Cliffs.