Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Women's History Month: Wednesday, March 10, 2021: Afric McGlinchey's poem "Moving the Pond"

Moving the Pond

A form we have no words for

–Philip Levine


You needed to move the pond

because we were about to reconstruct the house.

So you dug a new hole, further into the garden

and pondered how to move the lilies and fish

and would the frogs balk, come spring, at the disruption?


That was your main concern. And when I came out

with your tea, I was dismayed at the location

of the exhumed lozenge of soil – too long and narrow – 

having envisaged something more oval,

at a softer angle, and said so.


And, your shoulders slumped from the labour,

you looked at me. Some hours later,

after labouring at work of my own, I went out

to check on your progress, and saw

that you’d filled the hole and started again.


I remember when you holed up in your cave

for ten long weeks, before you came back to me.

These days, stair passions, kitchen kisses, are rare.

You leave your boots in the hallway.

I open the windows, creating a draught.


Whose turn to go out in the rain

to the shed for the milk? But here is the binding.

You started over for me. A muted subterranean urge.

I put my tongue to your throat and taste

the salt of it.

© 2021 Afric McGlinchey

Afric McGlinchey is an Irish poet with strong African connections. Her collections The lucky star of hidden things and Ghost of the Fisher Cat (Salmon Poetry) were translated into Italian and published by L’Arcolaio. Invisible Insane (SurVision) followed in 2019. Selected by Poetry Ireland Review as one of The Rising Generation (2016), she has received a Hennessy poetry award, Poets Meet Politics award, Northern Liberties prize, several bursaries from Cork County Council and the Arts Council of Ireland and numerous commendations. Tied to the Wind, a prose poetry memoir is forthcoming from Broken Sleep Books in 2021.

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