Wednesday, May 9, 2012

“The Muse Mother” (1982)

by 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 be 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’s tongue.

I had no idea there was another use for Muse Mother out there, let alone a poem!
My other blog, Musemother is here: