• Robert L. Giron

Issue 50 — Mary Ann Larkin

Mary Ann Larkin


This Is a Song


This is a song of grief

for the red wet boy

who didn’t come screaming

out of my womb to light,

for the red-haired daughter

who doesn’t sulk dreaming

by the plums above the sea.


This is a song of grief

for my belly that never swelled

taut as a blue-veined drum,

for the wild ripe man

with his poems of air

who came too late

with his quick thick seed.—



from That Deep & Steady Hum by Mary Ann Larkin (2010, Broadkill River Press). Reprinted by permission. Copyright © 2010 by Mary Ann Larkin.




Immigrant Daughter's Song


Gone, the silver-green silk of time

winding down centuries

of custom and kinship,

the pouring of the sea, the stars

on the slate of night, the moon

stamping the spire of the church

on the sand. Time itself changed

to a ticking, a dot on a line.

Customs of grace

and gentleness gone

name-saying and knowing

who begat whom

and when and where

and who could work

and who could sing

and who would pray

and who would not

and where the fish ran

and the wild plums hid

and how the old mothers

fit babies’ hands

to the five-flowered hollows

of blue ladyfingers,

and whose father fought whose

with golden swords

a thousand years ago

at Ballyferriter

on the strand below the church.

Gone from a silken spool unwinding

to rooms of relics and loss

behind whose locked doors

I dream, not daring to wake.


from That Deep & Steady Hum by Mary Ann Larkin (2010, Broadkill River Press). Reprinted by permission. Copyright © 2010 by Mary Ann Larkin.




Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo


In a silence strong as water,

Las Madres de Plaza hold aloft

photos of their children

for all to see, the way

mothers do at parties.

What could be more natural?

Juan Pablo Ramirez, age 22,

missing 6-11-77;

Ada Estabar, age 17,

missing 2-10-79.

Pedro, Estela, Salvador.


These mothers have coupled with death

and nothing prevails against them,

not the years, the evil

of their own kind, nor the memories,

waiting always to dissolve them,

of those tender unshriven bodies.

Birthing a huge implacable animal,

Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo

circle the square.



from That Deep & Steady Hum by Mary Ann Larkin (2010, Broadkill River Press). Reprinted by permission. Copyright © 2010 by Mary Ann Larkin.



Biography:


Mary Ann Larkin is the author of five chapbooks of poetry: The Coil of the Skin, White Clapboard, The DNA of the Heart, A Shimmering That Goes With Us, and gods & flesh. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, New Letters, and Poetry Greece, among many others, including several anthologies (American in Poetry / Ireland in Poetry). In the 1970s, she co-founded Big Mama Poetry Troupe in Cleveland, Ohio, which went on to perform in Chicago to New York. With her husband, Patric Pepper, she co-founded Pond Road Press. She lives in Washington, DC and North Truro, Massachusetts.


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