Eithne Lannon: Her Room & May 28th



May 28th

When I looked into your room

that day, I didn’t know

you were on the edge of death.


Your breath went

and came again, you slept deeply

like the child that you were,

the covers covered you.


I woke to changes in the air,

how it moved, where it settled.

In the vivid blue of a May morning

we went from even to odd


a new number

countenanced in your absence,

a new mother

a new father

a new brother

a new sister.

Familiar shapes re-formed

in the breach you created.


For days I circled the minutes taken

from your ribs, the muffled sigh

of your insides emptying out.


A red coat lay limp on the chair, I felt

the airborne currents of your longing,

your hair was on the hairbrush still.


This is the way life thinks about death.

How weightless is the last breath.


Her room

is lit with the small details of a life; odd socks,

a shoe half hidden beneath the bed,

the soft flowered quilt, uncrumpled now.

Crayons, paper planes, pink faded ted.

Day after day, I lie where she lay, her pillow-smell

flashes images; a face bled white,

fingers and silver beads twined tight, nails

of half-moon blue, hair curled in auburn light.

Across the window curtains drift, summer leaves

sashay in the breeze. I am ten. I see the glow

of corn-blue eyes, hear the echo of life’s

intention, its swift ungiving.



Eithne Lannon is a native of Dublin and teaches in Kilbarrack. She has had work published in Bare Hands, Issue 23, 2016, Skylight 47, Issue 6, 2016: A New Ulster, Issue 42, March 2016, the anthology ‘And Agamemnon Dead’, 2015, A New Ulster, Issue 28, January 2015 and forthcoming, Headstuff, Strange Bedfellows series, 2016. She had two poems shortlisted for the Galway Hospital Arts Competition in 2016.

She does regular open mics, has co-hosted the Gladstone Readings in 2015 and 2016, read at Skerries Soundwaves Festival, September, 2015 and Skerries Donkey Shots Festival, 2015 & 2016. She is currently Artist in Residence in Loughshinny Boathouse, Co. Dublin.

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