The Morning of La Llorona
After the drowning, I lay my palms on the table
and watched my fingers soak into dead wood.
I saw the grain lighten, my old hands draining away.
I untied my apron like a raft the colour of fires.
It couldn’t save us. Cotton roses drifted, moved
to bits by my hips, the white water of my neck.
I was a woman of water, foremost. I fed my girls
little birds, silver flecks off the mirror. I killed
a kingfisher, sliced light off its back to fill gaps.
Yet under my dress was a river- a bellyful of notes
in bottles, unread,-so many men I almost loved.
I thought of you, your good hand undoing my braid.
To see you, I made a dress. I tore scraps off the sky
each night you weren’t there, pinned it to my chest.
I wore it with pearls on my wrists, bubbles of air.
And I rushed to your house, a waterfall, ready
to pour whoever I thought I was into your arms.
From The Book of Tides (Nine Arches 2016)
‘Angela Readman’s poems are neatly packed creels, poised to spring open with spinning bobbins, the glister of fishes and their dark red blood. Fleet with surprise, where the real and the fabulous occupy the same sea, she writes with an enviable inventiveness, which can turn your eyes inside out!’ – Helen Ivory
Angela Readman’s poetry has been published in anthologies and journals including Hallelujah for 50ft Women (Bloodaxe, 2015), The Rialto, Popshot, Magma, Bare Fiction, Clear Poetry, And Other Poems, Ambit, and Envoi. She has been a winner of The Mslexia Poetry Competition, The Essex Poetry Prize, and The Charles Causley Prize. Her new collection The Book of Tides is published by Nine Arches. She also writes stories.