Bird

John Murphy

Do me a favour: shut up about your father.
Mine’s twenty years dead, give or take
a week or two. And, no, I can’t find my mother.
But I look for her. I do. Nights I walk

the borders of the past, listening for a one-note bird, 
for the brassy clap-trap of crows on the roof,
for a voice heard only in sleep, a word
in a dream. And when I sleep she speaks 

through years long overgrown, through vines
that choke the light from one good day. It’s July.
I’m eight years old. Neil Armstrong has yet to fluff his lines.
Look, she says, embracing a moon I’ll never see again. 

Her arms unfold like wings – she leaves too soon.
She leaves a trapped absence in the eaves of my room.

Page 65, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 117
Issue 117

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 117:

Edited by Vona Groarke

Issue 117 includes new poems from over twenty five poets from Ireland, the UK, the US and elsewhere, along with three new poems by Michael Longley, one of the UK’s foremost contemporary poets. The issue features reviews of more than twenty new poetry collections, including books by Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Claudia Rankine, Louise Gluck, Eavan Boland, Dennis O’Driscoll and Dermot Healy. Interviews include a feature on photographer, Seamus Murphy, about collaborating with musician and poet PJ Harvey and poet Eliza Griswold on separate publications, as well as an interview with Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis by Colette Bryce. Colour plates include photography by Seamus Murphy and artwork by Niamh Flanagan.