how much women chase
in search of an image.
She looked deep
deep into the mirror
to where her mother lived.
Inside her fading hair
from where that ghost slept
as if she heard an echo
laugh into eyes
that list their way
long ago before her self
wobbled step after step
away from a haunting house.
She looked deeper now
past the past
into the conundrum of being.
It would soon be time
for her to teach
the metaphysics of daily repentance.
As we say in Ireland,
“You’re one of us Mary,
you’re a chip off the old block.”
I came across you recently
when I was looking for something
– like a better life –
(not even sure what it was).
Not even sure what it felt like
the day I opened the door to you
and you came into the kitchen.
Almost certainly, it was raining.
You see, I’d never have written
“You don’t have to like oysters”
if it wasn’t for the sound of your voice
– the way you didn’t just sit in the chair
opposite me, but got out of the chair
and sat on my lap.
Every now and again, daemon-like,
you’d change form (not substance).
You’d hop on my shoulder.
A whelk, a blue iris, a river, a goose
(Oh no, not a river, another creature.)
Not only was this a new experience for me,
it was an old experience, returned
to poke the cinders
to see if any of them still glowed.
We are humans
I am your soul Aylan
your true humanity
I did not die with you
sinking in Bodrum‘s sea.
Who do you think washed you ashore?
Who painted your t-shirt red?
To Kos the adults took you
‘We promise home’ they said.
Who do you think will lift you now?
Who’ll cuddle you warm and true?
Who’ll bring your people safe from war?
Who’ll bury your shorts so blue?
I am your soul Aylan, your true humanity,
I did not die with you.