Friday, 30 October 2020


My ears reclaimed their virginity

in month seven of the pandemic.

So long left without ornament

they were sealed shut against

shiny blue stones from Sedona.

Soon after, I realised

all my clothes are costumes

for the games of make-believe

that go on outside my house.

So who am I, when I’m not playing?

Behind my mask I dwindle,

cast off non-essentials,

lipstick and lunchtime gossip –

wonder will I emerge

some smooth skinned cipher,

shorn of adornment

a mute maiden with white hair

and a fear of crowded spaces?

Or is there an elemental self

this time is excavating?

I can’t tell; on good days, I can hope so.

May she shine as solidly

as blue stones from Sedona.

Susan Millar DuMars has published five poetry collections with Salmon Poetry. She recently received an Irish Arts Council bursary to support her as she completes her second short story collection. Susan has co-organised the Over the Edge readings in Ireland since 2003.