Aoife Lyall 69
I know when you've had enough. Sprawled
across my lap, I heave you to your feet
and lay you on my chest to sleep it off.
One unfocused eye stretches open, stares
in my direction, before your hands
splay and your head falls and you sigh and sleep
one hand nestled in my armpit, the other lying
prostrate by your side. And always (always) your left ear
pressed against my chest. Against my heart (here).
My life revolves around you.
I learn the art of balances, hangs and
drops as your life clings to mine.
The lack of sleep. The near misses.
The aching doubts. I practise natural
until I cannot see myself.
There is no room for error.
Toes curled, cast out, I freefall
through the week. If I open
my eyes to the chance of falling,
I will fall. And down will come baby,
cradle and all.
Shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Awards 2016 and 2018, Aoife Lyall’s work has appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, The Stinging Fly, Magma, Banshee Lit, and The Irish Times, among others. She writes monthly reviews of poetry collections for her blog and is currently writing her first collection.