Saturday, 16 June 2012
My mother is a carpet, my mother is a chair
My mother is a blanket, flowers cover up her hair
Her scent is all around me, her arms have disappeared
Her hands are hard - I’m frightened
What is happening to me?
is happening to me? For a long time now I have been floating here
is happening to me? In a room I do not know, light sifts in patterns,
is happening to me? On the walls and on the floor,
is happening to me? There is dimness, then a flash -
is happening to me? The man says sssssh!
My mother does not feed me, my mother does not sing
Her breath is cold upon me, her lips are whispering
Her lap is like a statue, her smile has gone away
Who is the stranger, watching
Is this a game?
is happening to me? For a long time now I have been smothering
is happening to me?My face, my breasts, my thighs, all shrouded like a corpse
is happening to me?He is making a new image
is happening to me?He only wants the child
is happening to me?I know my place.
© Helena Nolan
Old portraits of children with 'ghostmothers' in the background
Helena's work has appeared in anthologies and literary magazines including; The Stinging Fly, The Moth, and the Spoken Ink audio website. She is the 2011 winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Award.