Title: Mother tongue


In: Sport 31: Spring 2003

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, November 2003

Part of: Sport

Keywords: Verse Literature

Conditions of use



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Sport 31: Spring 2003

Mother tongue

page 58

Mother tongue

Open the gate
and you'll see an almost figure:
your mother when you were born.

She shimmers in red
and as you approach
hands you your name
on paper so thin
you're afraid to touch it.

You need to retreat.
Go down the gravel path
(slowly now, you're shoeless,
and those stones are more like shards).
At a certain point,
you'll reach an opening
and before you

a canopy of letters,
so close together
you can only just make them out.

Or can you? You thought
you could pick out that name
given—but these shapes
have no edges.

Oh yes, the silence is telling you,

you are not the right child.