No Mossbawn or Inniskeen
to take down from a shelf
and leaf through. No banks of earth
embroidered with ferns and bluebells,
no rabbits running through the thicket,
nor wrens sheltering in the boxwood hedge.
My omphalos is a pigeon-gray orphanage yard
clotted with kids: see-saws, pissy knickers,
a clay-filled Kiwi tin on a hopscotch square,
British Bulldog, freckled faces, conkers
on shoelaces, pig-tailed girls twirling twine
skipping ropes by Saint Martha’s kitchen,
Jack stones, scabby knees, chinny-alley marbles,
and alongside the cloister, two-seater barn-red swings
we ride like horses till Miss Carberry’s Supper! Supper!
Galloping from the scullery to the laundry
—my brother riding piggyback—I trip.
Like dripping solder, globules of blood
fall from my nose to the concrete turf:
My baptism? a call to bear witness, brazen.
All rights reserved 2014 Connie Roberts
Site by Eileen McKenna