Jackie Gorman

Finding Yourself Alone

Jackie Gorman

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You are still waking up 

and bumping into things;

doors, chairs and yourself.

Everything leaves a mark, 

a hint, a trace of what was,

like pollen on the fingers

when flowers cause a stain.

You peel the fear off your skin

like the sunburn you had as a child,

the rawness, that you thought

was a new skin growing.


Now, learn the language of alone.

Don't worry about tenses.

Like Hopi Indian,

alone is all present tense.

The division of time does 

not exist in alone 

or in the hot plains of Arizona.

Remember the Hopi woman 

you met there one winter 

and how she did things slowly.

Do one thing at a time


Notice the urge to bend towards joy.

Notice the books you love ; 

“The Hare With The  Amber Eyes”,

“A Field Guide To Getting Lost”, 

“A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing”.

You will mouth the words slowly

and stroke their spines like lovers.

Carry their knowing into the day,

like talismans or blessings.


Light candles, don’t answer the phone,

cook risotto and buy new bed sheets.

Make tea and use the best cup for yourself.


Be overwhelmed by ordinary kindnesses;

the girl at the check-out, 

the postman, 

the friend who sent a parcel 

of pens and love from New York.


Lean in and breathe.


Jackie Gorman


Jackie Gorman is from Athlone. Her poetry has been published in anumber of publications including Poetry Ireland Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, The Lonely Crowd and ObsessedWith Pipework. Her work has been commended in the Patrick KavanaghPoetry Awards. In 2017, she won the Listowel Writers Week Single Poem Award for the poem "The Blue Hare". Her work was included in the 25th Anniversary Edition of the Windows Anthology.  She iscurrently studying for an MA in Poetry Studies at the Irish Centre forPoetry Studies at Dublin City University and is part of the PoetryIreland 2017  Introductions Series.