Come away, O, human child! For the world’s more full
of weeping than you can understand. W.B. Yeats
Listen. One hushed winter night I rushed
westward over the moors. There waves
of moonlight rayed the storm breached
shore. I don’t believe in chance
for omens, visions, saints,
are my everyday life. Far off,
Fanad Cove’s beams swept mercifully
to-and-fro. Gail winds wailed
while a monk seal whelped
over her pup’s corpse below.
My mood went apocalyptic given the merciless
squalls of the sea, which is when I breathed
a benediction for the mother-to-be. I entered
the stone-heeled cottage of the coracle maker,
to the mother’s screams and crossed
myself thrice. And as though in a dream
caressed on her breast, she was kissing
the stone-cold seal pup, or so it seemed.
An at the hearth her husband moaned,
why is our son so cold? The child’s eyes closed,
lay lifeless, cord tied in a Celtic Knot.
Midwives know the womb’s meant to be a poem
of joy, no tomb. And as I clombed home
the craggy cliffs were covered in the snowy
whiteness of seabirds in clamorous song,
………………….keening the child who was gone.
Moná Toirésa Ó Loideáin Rochelle’s poetry collections are On the Brink of the Sea (Cave Moon Press, 2019) and Mourning Dove (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Her awards include an artist residency from Fundación Valparaíso, Spain, and a writer scholarship from New Camaldoli Hermitage, Big Sur, California. Her poems appear widely or are forthcoming in The Southern Review, American Journal of Poetry, Notre Dame Review, Spiritus, and Southword. She volunteers with Doctors Without Borders and Catholic Relief Services. visit https://monalydon.com/