Monday, December 06, 2010


Eavan Boland

My window pearls wet.
The bare rowan tree
berries rain.

I can see
from where I stand
a woman hunkering--
her busy hand
worrying a child's face,

working a nappy liner
over his sticky, loud
round of a mouth.

Her hand's a cloud
across his face, making light and rain,
smiles and a frown,
a smile again.

She jockeys him to her hip,
pockets the nappy liner,
collars rain on her nape
and moves away,

but my mind stays fixed:
if I could only decline her--
lost noun
out of context,
stray figure of speech--
from this rainy street

again to her roots,
she might teach me
a new language:

to he a sibyl,
able to sing the past
in pure syllables,
limning hymns sung
to belly wheat or a woman

able to speak at last
my mother tongue.

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