Monday, April 19, 2010

Tuesday Poem:Harp



Harp


In the dark, I feel her breathe. I know she sleeps holding a hip
in the palm of one hand. Likes to walk finger tips on a rib cage, to overlap
finger and thumb when she circles a wrist. She has gone from me on tip-toe,
my milky girl, and become her own instrument - one of those fine-boned harps
that need to be played to keep in tune. Those strings. They shudder as I pass.


                                                                                             Mary McCallum


Do go to the new Tuesday Poem site to read the poem selected for today and find links to the other Tuesday Poets. We are 21 at last count and growing.

18 comments:

Janis said...

lovely poem, Mary, very musical

Vespersparrow said...

Lovely, Mary--how haunting a time it must be when the child, in becoming her own person, has to separate from the mother, and not without pain.
Wonderful evocative: Those strings. They shudder as I pass.

maggie@at-the-bay.com said...

Ah, Motherhood, Mary - music and mayhem, but we grow too as we watch them go. XX

Fifi Colston said...

I hear her, I hear you. xxx

P.s- just put the link up to Tuesday poem on mine- forgot first thing...

Tim Jones said...

A beautiful poem, Mary - and, like Vespersparrow, I especially love the final line.

Penelope said...

I can't help thinking of Cameron's poem on 'cadence' today. How known and unknown we are to one another. Beautiful, thank you, Mary.

Kay McKenzie Cooke. said...

It's reverberating in me still your poem, I have returned to read again. Lovely.

Rachel Fenton said...

That made me sad - in a nice way.

"and not without pain"...

TK Roxborogh said...

to continue (and poorly because I'm no poet) the metaphor: how quickly the instrument gets out of tune. Just yesterday, we all had a maestro work us over. We, the quartet came away from our 'rehearsal' in harmony. Tonight the smallest instrument is bent out of shape again, will not join the troupe, has yet again strange string cuts on her bow.

Mary McCallum said...

I've been sitting here for five minutes trying to think how to respond to all the comments on Harp. I am speechless. I am thrilled. All I'd dared to hope for. Thank you.

All I'd hoped for, except yours Tania. Take care.

And I am starting to worry now - shouldn't it be 'needs' not 'need' in the final line...?

Rachel Fenton said...

ooh, tricky...I actually think it is okay without the 's' but adding it will echo the 's' in "sleeps" and add to the alliteration. Like taffeta skirts rustling...

Take the praise, it's deserved.

TK Roxborogh said...

Wednesday is my creative writing class day (lunchtime in my room with 20 odd keen bunnies) and we are just loving the Tuesday poems. I have a data projector in my room and we sit in the dark and oh and ah over your poems. You (as in all you wonderful poets) may or may not want to be a fly on the way with their responses - these girls are quite opinionated. Today I will show them Harp and 'Well' and Mr Walpert's poem (can't remember the name).

they absolutely LOVE being a little bit a part of something that's happening right now and 'discovering' poets and words and enjoy being delighted and surprised by words and the arrangement of them.

Thank you.
Now, back to the marking!

T. Clear said...

This poem sings, and it's a delicate and tender song. (I vote for "need" minus the "s".)

Mary McCallum said...

Woot woot! Tania, that's such a brilliant idea... the kids get to see the poems - the comments etc - and feel the freshness of the poems just posted. Do you mind if I use what you've said in some sort of TP press release? 101 uses of a Tuesday Poem... X

Mary McCallum said...

Thanks T. Clear - lovely to have you come by.

Claire Beynon said...

Dear Mary, I have stood in the same place as the one you describe here... brittle as a sea star. This is brave and tender poem, as much about listening as staying close. Thank you.

Helen said...

Stunning Mary.

Issy said...

I love this so much it's beautiful mum love u heaps. love from issy xx