Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Poem of the week: When Six O’Clock Comes and Another Day Has Passed by Kathryn Simmonds

An exploration of the intense connection between mother and child, lost in the rhythmical somnolence of routine, cleverly avoids cliche

“the baby […] holds me with her blue eyes”
The baby ‘holds me with her blue eyes’ … Kathryn Simmonds’ When Six O’Clock Comes and Another Day Has Passed. Photograph: Alamy
When Six O’Clock Comes and Another Day Has Passed
the baby who can not speak, speaks to me.
When the sun has risen and set over the same dishes
and the predicted weather is white cloud,
the baby steadies her head which is the head of a drunk’s
and holds me with her blue eyes,
eyes which have so recently surfed through womb swell,
and all at once we stop half-heartedly row, rowing
our boat and see each other clear
in the television’s orange glow. She regards me,
the baby who does not know a television from a table lamp,
the baby who is so heavy with other people’s hopes
she has no body to call her own,
the baby who is forever being shifted, rearranged,
whose hands must be unfurled, and wiped with cotton wool,
whose scalp must be combed of cradle cap,
the baby who has exactly no memories
softens her face in the early evening light and says I understand.


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