has a booking for a death,
warns and wails in frantic bursts
unable to handkerchief herself
flings down water onto her naked hair
throws herself across the landscape
howls and howls
calls out with a broken voice
spits leaves into the air.
At midnight, she takes off her make up
washes and blow dries her hair
admires herself in the mirror
drops her comb.
A woman with red eyes
and something screaming in her head
comes into the bathroom for a glass of water
picks up the comb
then falls like a knight from a horse.
Between stirrup and ground,
banshee spirits her away
won’t let my mother change her mind
won’t let her spit the tablets back into the box
won’t let her reach upwards
in slow motion, to grasp and ride again
her own warm body breathing.
Marion Tracy was born in 1951. She has an MA in English Literature and taught in Further Education Colleges. She recently lived in Australia for six years and while there, she started to write and send out her own poetry. She has now returned to live in Brighton. She has been published both in Australia and in the UK; magazines include Poetry Wales, Iota, Mslexia, Tears in the Fence, Scintilla, the Rialto and Poetry Review. Her debut pamphlet, recently published by Happenstance press contains an account written from the point of view of a child struggling to make sense of her mother’s mental illness and subsequent poems reflecting on her mother’s life, death and legacy from an adult view point.
Giant in the Doorway has been reviewed in the North, Antiphon, Weyfarers magazine and Under the Radar;
Giant in the Doorway is a moving, brave and unforgettable book.