Doireann Ní Ghríofa




many months, to float in warmth
womb-wet swell
stirred with each murmur of her world

surges begin

Now         the caesarean slice
          Now         the hospital light
                    Now       mother's girl-cries

through this first rift, flesh-crevice
the lift, the light, the light, the clench and pinch
the cord clamped, cut, the cold, the light, and now
now the swaddle,
now the struggle,
now we begin again

the stench, where they scorch and stitch her flesh,
fusing this fissure together again:
my path back, sealed tight
so now I must become 
I am, 

DOIREANN NÍ GHRÍOFA is an award-winning bilingual poet based in Cork, Ireland. She was recently awarded the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary 2014-2015 by Paula Meehan. Among her other awards are the Wigtown Award for Gaelic Poetry and two Arts Council literature bursaries, as well as nominations for the Pushcart Prize (USA), The Venture Award (UK), the Strokestown Poetry Prize and the Jonathan Swift Award. Her first collection of poems in English is forthcoming from Dedalus Press.

Read more about Doireann Ní Ghríofa:

Doireann Ní Ghríofa on Twitter
Author website
Poem in The Irish Times
Two poems in Southword
Two poems in The Pickled Body