March 17, 2010

Hump Day Poetry: Eithne Strong

Posted in Poetry at 10:27 am by The Lizard Queen

Statement to Offspring

Look, I’ll never leave you, issue
of my bone: inside
the marrow’s marrow tissue
I am true no matter what.

But I must not be your slave
and do not suck my later life.
I, of sweat and pain have
given, and breaking labour.

Let me be. There is much
I am starving for.
No muffler I to scarf your
years. I cannot aye be shield.

Rebellion? Yes. I am but part
grown. We grow till death.
Let me space. I cry for stars
as in my callow years.

But test me and I’m there.
In the meantime, let me burgeon
whatever else may fruit.
I have suckled without stint.

Let my statement grate who will.
I am no easy choice.
I never asked to have you
but having, am entirely true.

Just allow me room.

—Eithne Strong, 1974

(Happy St. Patrick’s Day!)

Previously posted poems by Irish poets:
Eavan Boland: “Outside History
Seamus Heaney: “Punishment
W.B. Yeats: “The Second Coming,” “Sailing to Byzantium,” “Adam’s Curse,” “No Second Troy


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