by Eavan Boland
The daffodils are out &
how your would love the harebells by
the Blackwater now.
But Etty, you are wise to stay away.
London may be dull in this season.
Meath is no better I assure you.
Your copper silk is sewn
& will be sent and I envy you.
Noone talks of anything but famine.
I go nowhere–
not from door to carriage–but a cloth
sprinkled with bay rum & rose attar
is pressed against my mouth.
Our picnics by the river–
remember that one with Major Harris?–
our outings to the opera
& our teas are over now for the time being.
Shall I tell you what I saw of Friday,
driving with Mama? A woman lying
across the Kells Road with her baby–
in full view. We had to go
out of our way
to get home & we were late
& poor Mama was not herself all day.