‘Seabed’ by Aoife Lyall

The second poem I am sharing tonight may be small in stature, however, the emotion and tenderness it manages to capture in those four short lines is ginormous!

‘Seabed’ is from Aoife’s debut collection Mother Nature (2021) published by Bloodaxe Books. You can purchase a copy of Mother Nature here. Aoife was born and raised in Dublin and now lives in the Scottish Highlands. She has been shortlisted for the Hennessy New Writing Awards in 2016 and 2018 and her work has appeared in many literary magazines. Aoife has also been guest editor with Butcher’s Dog Magazine (issues 13 & 14). As well as writing and editing Aoife also teaches poetry, writes reviews and mentors, you can find out more about Aoife on her website here.

Mother Nature “explores the tragic and tender experiences of pregnancy and early motherhood, from ante-natal complications and the devastating pain of miscarriage to the overwhelming joy of healthy delivery” (Lyall 2021). It is an incredibly emotional collection that constricts the heart but also floods it with hope and joy.

I hope you enjoy the poem I have chosen to share.

‘Seabed’ by Aoife Lyall

When you fuss, your father turns
from cliff face to cove and curls
you into him, his steady breath
the swell that brings you home.


Lyall, A. (2021) ‘Seabed’ from Mother Nature. Hexham: Bloodaxe Books, 48


No-one tells you how it is.
How it truly is. This
motherhood business.
It’s all sleepless nights,
terrible twos, teenage angst
and empty nest, they warn
you of. No-one mentions
the guilt. The constant
worry. The searching
of faces for signs they
are happy, or not. I do
this last one, a lot.
They think I’m annoying.
Sigh in frustration
at my maternal questioning
‘Is everything alright?’
But I cant help myself.
Petrified I’ll miss
something important,
some crestfallen moment,
some revealing expression.
How could I forgive myself?
No-one warned me of this.
So, now I warn you.

~The H Word~

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