I place a jug of lavender on the table
to mask the smell of mould from under the fridge
while you draw nails to hammer with your fist.
Then I draw a hammer , and watch
as you try to lift it from the page.
by day it’s Mr Men, Mad Men, by night,
your father and I wishing we could be so bold.
you have no such wants, though sometimes I wonder
as you try to peer into Jack and Jill’s well
or climb the tiny ladder of your toy farm
to mend the roof of your miniature barn.’
Life After Death
My thoughts are all opposed to that streak of red fox in the field,
black clods of thought that cling to the spade that lifts them
to throw them back into the hole they made.
The fox is an apposite thing, lived in without reluctance,
as is the greenfinch, even as it hits the window
and knocks itself out cold.
My child knows this. He won’t allow himself forget
his father warming the bird’s wings with his breath,
its sudden swift flight
as two foxes
trot through Fayre’s Field ahead of the hearse.
Domestic Bliss and Life After Death are © Rebecca O’Connor. Published in We’ll Sing Blackbird A Moth Edition 2012.
Rebecca O’Connor edits The Moth Magazine and organises the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize. She worked as a commissioning editor of literary fiction at Telegram Books in London before returning to Ireland with her family in 2008. She won a Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2004 and her chapbook Poems was published by the Wordsworth Trust, where she was a writer in residence in 2005. Her poetry has been published in, among other places, The Guardian, Poetry Review and The Spectator.