s
s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MLC

GO TO MLC HOMEPAGE


FOOL FOR POETRY
INTERNATIONAL CHAPBOOK
COMPETITION 2017


 

submit
Submit to Southword

 

 

ONLINE BOOKSTORE FEATURED TITLES

 

New Irish Voices
Poetry chapbooks by
Roisin Kelly & Paul McMahon

 

 

Liberty Walks Naked
by Maram al-Masri, trans. Theo Dorgan

 

 

Done Dating DJs
Done Dating DJs
by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey
Winner, 2008 Fool for Poetry Competition

 

 

Richesses

Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes

 

 

 

 

Munster Literature Centre

Create your badge

 

 

 

 

 

Arts Council

 

 

Cork City Council

 

 

Foras na Gaeilge

 

 

Cork County Council

   

 

 

LIZ QUIRKE

 

 

 

Originally from Tralee, Co Kerry, Liz Quirke lives in Spiddal, Co Galway with her wife and daughters. Her poetry has appeared in publications such as New Irish Writing in The Irish Times, Southword, Crannog, The Stony Thursday Book and Eyewear Publishing's The Best New British and Irish Poets 2016. She won the 2012 Edmund Spenser Poetry Prize at the Doneraile Literary and Arts Festival, the 2015 Poems for Patience Competition and the 2016 Dromineer Literary Festival Flash Fiction Prize. She has been shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Emerging Poetry Award and the Cuirt New Writing Prize (Poetry Category). Salmon Poetry will publish her debut collection The Biology of Mothering in Spring 2018.

 

 

 

 

Counterfeit

 

 

Easy as talk at a child's party, I cluster as one of their number.

When the men fade, attention turns from woman to woman, lap to lap.

 

I do not surrender my baby to the communal hold.

“Are you tired? Is she three months?”

 

How these words shape me. They set me up in a hospital bed,

girded, pressing, sweat and spit when the contractions build,

 

tears when the work of my body is over.

Two small questions assume the set of my womb,

 

the establishment of milk, a healthy supply

given the child who gums into the fabric covering my shoulder.

 

Propriety requires my answer to be my lack

of sleep, chapped nipples, swollen ducts,

 

all the bruisings and restitchings of childbirth. I hum and rock the baby,

knowing the moment my interlocutor sees through me.

 

The line of her lips tells that she knows the lie of my body,

sees camouflage in the extra weight at my hips, subterfuge

 

in the curve and sag of my breasts. It is her final sweep that does it,

her crosscheck of features, my face against the smaller one.

 

I see her check my measurements, the distance

from eyes to ears, lips to chin, the cleft I do not have.

 

I see her hold these facts loose as coins in her palm,

I see her put those parts of me between her teeth

 

and clamp down, finding nothing but a lightweight metal,

a hollow ring, a counterfeit.

 

 

©2017 Liz Quirke

 

 

Author Links

 

Poetry at Poethead

'I don't write you love poems anymore' in Spontaneity

Liz Quirke's website

More work by Liz in Southword

 

 

CONTENTS BACK TO TOP NEXT POEM

 

 

   
 
©2009 Southword Editions
and
Munster Literature Centre
   

Southword 6 Southword No 7 Southword No 8 Southword No 9 Southword No 10 Southword 11 southword 12 Southword No 14 Southword No 15