Shanley McConnell

a mother’s goodbye

i

the moonscape bows to the mist; the slieve blooms into a mountain scope
stitched with the scent of lime and ghost blossoms : far from the northern mine
the village with the basalt neckline and belt of ramie rope.

ii

bundled in lilac coil, the summit rises in a broken line like a spine to the land; the slope
the curved arc of what is now the pulse of a great and enchanted find
the moonscape bows to the mist; the slieve blooms into a mountain scope

iii

stories: a woman who pounded almond oil into an antidote,
tucked grains in jars of flotsam and flax, and left behind
the village with the basalt neckline and belt of ramie rope

iv

who slept under loose wild blossoms, and woke september early in a sack cloth coat
who saved a single souvenir: cracked birch slipped inside, turned out blind
the moonscape bows to the mist; the slieve blooms into a mountain scope

v

who walked the world over to find her father’s land scapegoat
to a war it had never fought, cover her eyes so she cannot see the way they grind
the village with the basalt neckline and belt of ramie rope

vi

into the dirt as if it was simply clove, garlic, as if, canteloupe
sliced could be shoved into her mouth in shredded rind
the moonscape bows to the mist; the slieve blooms into a mountain scope
the village with the basalt neckline and belt of ramie rope.

*****
a mother’s goodbye by Shanley McConnell won second prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (May 2019) judged by Terry Jones.

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