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DOIREANN NÍ GHRÍOFA

 

 

 

Doireann Ní Ghríofa

Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s poems have appeared in many literary journals in Ireland and internationally, most recently in France, Mexico, USA, Scotland and England. The Arts Council has twice awarded her literature bursaries (in 2011 and in 2013). In 2012 she was winner of Wigtown Gaelic poetry contest and won second place in the Jonathan Swift Award. She was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series. Doireann’s Irish collections Résheoid and Dúlasair are both published by Coiscéim. Her pamphlet of English poems Ouroboros has recently been selected for the longlist of The Venture Award (UK).

 

 

 

 

 

White Linen

(In 2011, according to statistics from the Central Statistics Office, 76,300 people
were forced to leave Ireland in search of work.
)

 

 

The clothes line still stretches

between the boughs of the apple trees,

its cord taut, tight.

Yesterday, I paused there

peg quivering in mid-air,

struggling to recall

the exact shade of your hair.

A pair of butterflies spiralled by

paired                   parentheses

white against a mottled sky.

Every empty day,

I repeat the ritual:

washing your shirts, pinning

them to the line, watching

their linen limbs wave.

Their abandoned arms grasp at bare air.

It is a curious comfort

to watch them dance in the wind

as though they are beckoning to me,

wanting to hold my hand

as one by one

my memories of you fail.

These laundered linens seem to spell

my loss along the line

in a fractured alphabet of loneliness.

In hollow shirts, I read your name

again and again and again.

 

 

©2013 Doireann Ní Ghríofa

 

 

Author Links

 

Doireann Ní Ghríofa home page

Ní Ghríofa ag Irish Writers Online

Five poems by Doireann Ní Ghríofa in the Galway Review

More by Ní Ghríofa in Southword Journal

 

 

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