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Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

The Tale of Me

The Tale of Me

The Tale of Me

The child’s teeth click against the marble.
Her ear is crushed cold against the slab,
The dredged flour almost brushed by her hair
She traces with her eye her mother’s hand.

The hand squashes flour and eggs to hide the yeast
And again it folds and wraps away
The breathing, slackening, raw loaf
That tried to grow and was twisted and turned back –

Like the man in the next room
Wrapped as Adam in broad leaves,
Hiding under the folded mountains that fell on him
When he called them to come and cover him over.

He lies folded around
The pain salting his belly and gut,
Lies still groaning: I am not I,
My story is knotted and
Sour like the bread she made.
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

(Ierland, 1942)

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The Tale of Me

The child’s teeth click against the marble.
Her ear is crushed cold against the slab,
The dredged flour almost brushed by her hair
She traces with her eye her mother’s hand.

The hand squashes flour and eggs to hide the yeast
And again it folds and wraps away
The breathing, slackening, raw loaf
That tried to grow and was twisted and turned back –

Like the man in the next room
Wrapped as Adam in broad leaves,
Hiding under the folded mountains that fell on him
When he called them to come and cover him over.

He lies folded around
The pain salting his belly and gut,
Lies still groaning: I am not I,
My story is knotted and
Sour like the bread she made.

The Tale of Me

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