Ahead of this year’s Forward Prizes for Poetry, The Telegraph is publishing all five nominees for the Best Single Poem prize. Today’s poem comes from Liz Berry. Her upbringing in the West Midlands inspired her debut collection Black Country. Using the region’s dialect to tell lyrical tales that echo traditional folklore, Black Country was one of The Telegraph’s poetry books of the year in 2014.

The Republic of Motherhood is the title poem of her latest pamphlet, published by Chatto. After the birth of her first son, she was struck by how rarely the experiences of new mothers are mentioned in modern poetry. “Our stories were beautiful, raw, heartbroken, joyous and deep beyond reckoning,” she says, “But…