painting by Elizabeth Desiree Torbet
Here is a wonderful villanelle from the Irish poet Mary O’Donoghue:
MY DAUGHTER IN WINTER COSTUME
after John Storrs’ sculpture (1922)
She is sealed like a bomb in her anorak.
Her face is flushed fruit under the hood.
She’s already moving away. I want to call her back.
At nine in the morning the sky is blue-black.
I think of hard falls, split lips, her blood.
But she’s sealed like a bomb in her anorak,
and shouting to friends on the tarmac,
a yardful of children, a tide,a flood
already moving away. I want to call her back,
I’m faint, suddenly starved with the lack
of her,and determined that she should
know, all sealed like a bomb in her anorak.
Grip the wheel. Radio on.The yakety-yak
of today’s talking heads on How to Be Good.
The morning is moving away. I want to call her back.
This is what it’s like to be left slack,
the cord frayed like I knew it would.
She is sealed like a bomb in her anorak,
already moved away, and I can’t call her back.
© 2011, Mary O’Donoghue From: Shine On: Irish Writers for Shine Publisher: Dedalus Press, Dublin, 2011, 978-1-906614-47-8