Kathleen Williamson

Reading Seamus Heaney to my Mother        

After the dishes are done, I sit at the foot

            of your bed, and I read.

You know a language not mine –

of haws and sloes, flax dams and potato drills.

                        Red flower of the rowan tree.

And we are back in your youth,

            in Lattoon, on your father’s farm

                        on the lough of three narrows.

You’ll recite Yeats

            and we’re in a bee-loud glade

             and the evening is full of the linnet’s wings.

On bad days, when poetry is of no use,

            I offer you gifts from your pre-literal life:

sweet flesh of a just-picked blackberry,

            cool hardness of a potato in your palm.

Kathleen Williamson is the author of Feather & Bone, a chapbook published by Finishing Line Press. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was chosen as runner-up in the SLAB poetry contest. Her work has been published in Newtown Literary, Ponder Review, as well as other literary journals.