Between The Lines :: Karen O'Connor
FINGERPRINTS (On Canvas) :: Karen O'Connor
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Song of the Siamang

I break the red wax seal
take out my mother's ears
wrapped in tissue paper.
Those eighteen-carat-gold earrings
with their inlaid fragment of ruby - still attached.
I press my lips to her left ear - close my eyes
and let the words slip from my tongue
for years they've been growing mould inside me.
I repeat my message into her right ear
a little louder, so she catches every word
as the traffic flows down the Tanyard
the noise of twenty years filtered
to leave just my voice
pressed against her hammer and anvil
long dust within the earth.
I only wish I had kept her lips
so they could tell me that she'd heard.
Or her eyes, so that I could see she understood.
Or perhaps a hand, just one
to curl a finger rhythmically in my hair.
Tonight I'll wear her ears
like earrings dangling from my own
shake my head to feel their movement
caress her lobes and mine
step out under the stillness
of this full moon
my throat sac opening
screaming my words into the earth
and in the morning listen to their echo.


All Poems © Karen O'Connor 2011 - No works can be redistrubted for public use without prior consent from the author

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Irish Poets :: Karen O'Connor FINGERPRINTS (On Canvas) Karen O'Connor - biography Karen O'Connor - gallery Karen O'Connor - contact