With a dead tongue I named you
‘little deer’. You had tossed under
your mother’s skin, pushing shapes
like shrunken antlers behind a satin veil.
Somehow I saw it all leading to this:
the struggles with your mother
the scripted tears and slammed doors
the walkings-out and walkings-in
the candles lit and the prayers begun;
all to your father to be the first to hold you.
My green surgical gown, disposable
skullcap like some priestly garb
or butcher’s apparel. You taking
the world in with a yawn, blood-stained
forehead and eyes blurred as if staring
through a dozen bottles thick with vodka.
The surgeon put a needle to your mother’s belly.
Her trolley shin high in a swill of blood
and amniotic liquor. I cried God’s name
silent, inside my skull. Chaffinch song
bickered through the open window like a chorus.
Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119:
Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119 includes new poems by 48 poets including Frank Ormsby, John Kinsella, Rachel Coventry, Aifric Mac Aodha, Gerald Dawe, Alice Miller and Claire Potter. Also included are translations by Richard Begbie and Kirsten Lodge, an essay on Bishop, Lowell, Heaney and Grennan by David McLoghlin, and reviews of Paul Muldoon, Paul Durcan, Sarah Clancy, Medbh McGuckian, Kate Tempest, George the Poet, and many more. The issue also features photography by Hugh O'Conor, Dominic Turner, Sheila McSweeney, Fergus Bourke and John Minihan.