I say her phrases to myself
in my head
or under the shallows of my breath,
restful shapes moving.
The day and ever. The day and ever.
The train this slow evening
goes down England
browsing for the right sky,
too blue swapped for a cool grey.
For miles I have been saying
What like is it
the way I say things when I think.
Nothing is silent. Nothing is not silent.
What like is it.
I am happy and sad
like a child
who stood at the end of summer
and dipped a net
in a green, erotic pond. The day
and ever. The day and ever.
I am homesick, free, in love
with the way my mother speaks.
From THE OTHER COUNTRY (1990), by Carol Ann Duffy
Carol Ann Duffy (born 23 December 1955) is a Scottish poet and playwright. She is Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University, and was appointed Britain’s Poet Laureate in May 2009. She is the first woman, the first Scot, and the first openly LGBT person to hold the position.
Her collections include Standing Female Nude (1985); Selling Manhattan (1987), The Other Country (1990) and Rapture (2005), winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize. Her poems address issues such as oppression, gender, and violence in language is very accessible, giving her words wide reach.
Image (portion): The Three Ages of Woman, by Gustav Klimt