Poem of the week: Fothragadh by Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh

Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Táim ag glanadh mo mháthar go cúramach
Le huisce, sobal is éadach

Tá cibeal ag déanamh ar an gcathair
Dubhfhórsa ag druidim le Kabul

Na heileacoptair cheana féin ag tuirlingt
Táim ag glanadh mo mháthar go cúramach

Ag cuimilt go séimh na mball brúite
An craiceann bog a dubhadh

Dubhfhórsa ag druidim le Kabul
Ag scuabadh leis mianta is toil

Tabharfad faoina droim le dúthracht
Tirimeod í le cáiréis

Ag cuimhneamh gan stad ar impact
An teannadh in aghaidh fórsa nirt

Is mé ag glanadh mo mháthar go cúramach
Dubhfhórsa ag druidim le Kabul.

CLEANSING

Translated by Billy Ramsell

I’m washing my mother so carefully
With water, soap and sponge

A discord makes for the capitol
The black forces closing in on Kabul

The helicopters already settling
I’m washing my mother so carefully

Caressing, with care, the bruised parts
Her gentle skin that was blackened

The black forces closing in on Kabul
Scooping up wishes and will

I’ll see to her back with due diligence
So delicately I’ll dry it

Thinking, forever, of impact,
The bracing before vulgar force

I’m washing my mother so carefully
The black forces closing in on Kabul

Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh’s most recent collection is The Coast Road (Gallery Press). Billy Ramsell’s latest book is The Architect’s Dream of Winter (Dedalus Press)