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featured poet, Moira Merryweather

Moira Merryweather photo


6 Torgovaya, Odessa
          for Val Bridge

Someone else’s heart beats
slow in the dark
where I know hers did.
There’s no chair or cushion
holding her warmth, no smudge
of a fingerprint.
Dreams and sighs in the night
belong to different lives,
by genes which don’t have
anything in common with
my mother, me.
Where my Babouschka
sang love songs, lullabies
with a tongue easy with language
not her native own,
there is music I won’t hear
from voices I will never know.
Other children. Other kinds of legacies.
But somewhere in the house
that was her home,
somewhere in the dark
there are sloughed fragments
of my mother, my mother’s mother
and one auburn hair, perhaps,
caught between the then and now
curling up to reach
out for familiar heartbeats,
the cry of a child in the night.

Moira Merryweather

first published in South 33, 2006