Archive for May 11th, 2019

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Mansize by Maura Dooley

Now you aren’t here I find
myself ironing linen squares,
three by three, the way
my mother’s always done,
the steel tip steaming over your
blue initial. I, who resent
the very thought of this back-breaking
ritual, preferring radiator-dried
cottons, stiff as boards, any amount
of crease and crumple to this
soothing, time-snatching chore.

I never understood my father’s trick,
his spare for emergencies, but was glad
of its airing-cupboard comforts often enough:
burying my nose in it, drying my eyes
with it, staunching my blood with it,
stuffing my mouth with it. His expedience,
my mother’s weekly art, leaves me
forever flawed: rushing into newsagents
for Kleenex, rifling your pockets in the cinema,
falling on those cheap printed florals.

What I really want is Irish linen,
shaken out for me to sink my face in,
the shape and scent of you still warm
in it, your monogram in chainstitch
at the corner. Comforter, seducer, key witness
to it all, my neatly folded talisman,
my sweet flag of surrender.

From: https://anthonywilsonpoetry.com/2012/06/05/lifesaving-poems-ian-duhigs-from-the-irish-and-maura-dooleys-mansize/

Date: 1991

By: Maura Dooley (1957- )

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