The Saturday poem: Still Born

A new poem by Noelle Lynskey

She whispers my name often,
the one she gave me after.

No one hears but the worn Jesus
on the swinging crucifix of
her fingered beads.

Fingers that wound the wool
one plain, one purl
for the promise of me.

She stitched my shape into cardigans
I'd never wear,
buttonholes my eyes peeped through
in her nightly dreams.


I never was. Just
slipped into her waiting arms
with the cold absence of sound.

In some deep recess of her loss,
her name for me nestles in her throat.

Shadows play games with her.
Sometimes I skip like a dropped stitch
across the flapping screen
of her washed-out bloody sheets,

loss her repeating pattern:
each cycle, each moon,
each year.

Her cry, the only cry.
Born still but still born,

an almost.

Noelle Lynskey is a member of the Strokestown International Poetry Festival committee and is working towards a first collection