The knitting needles drew melodies from silence as stitches seemed to follow one another like swallows alighting upon a wire, watching the tiny dress of softest yellow wool grow like a sunrise waiting for she who waited within.
She, who came and left all too soon.
Stretched and stitched, I lie empty, raw, alone In the cold corridor of the hospital grey knot of my mind grasping blindly for meaning I hold the soft brightness to my cheek, then unravel the stitches one by one
Swallows of hope disappearing at sunset to some unfathomable, faraway land.
The procedure complete, I awaken alone, weak beneath starched sheets. As the hospital sleeps, my fingers fumble over the sutured scar, a jagged map of mourning stitched into my skin — empty without and empty within. Beyond these white curtains, stars shine bright as Diwali in a cold night sky. Someday, within these walls, I will hear my baby cry. Cradling my hollowed womb, I trace this new wound and weep. The only sound I hear now is the fading retreat of a doctor’s footsteps, echoing my heartbeat.
Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s poems have appeared in literary journals in Ireland and internationally. Her Irish language collections Résheoid and Dúlasair are both published by Coiscéim. The Arts Council of Ireland has twice awarded her literature bursaries (2011 and 2013). In 2012, she was a winner of Wigtown Gaelic poetry contest— the Scottish National Poetry Prize. Her short collection of poems in English Ouroboros was recently longlisted for The Venture Award (UK).