Kathy D'Arcy

'Motherhood' and 'Sunday in the Secure Unit'

Kathy D'Arcy

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Motherhood

When you leaned into my hand that time, always so brusque,

I felt the bulk of that squat demon who still,

four years and three months on,

exerts his demands so you are thin and wide-eyed

while he grows round, rotund. The world's child.


What's it for/about/like? Who decides?

The fear, but more than that the dumb triumph of that blot,

your defeat.


I was listening to Gouge Away floating up from the Marquee

on the side of a road above the city, waiting just in case while you both tried to sleep

for the first time in your own home

on the advice of some therapists and against the advice of others,

wishing the girl screaming into her phone on the street opposite would fuck off

when she did - all hips - and I waited between ninety and ten thousand minutes,

wondering how much I could piss into a sanitary towel so as not to disturb you

who yesterday got out the scrapbooks, one for every year, of pictures

captioned by teachers: "I like to take turns at the sandpit." "I am a lovely little boy."



Sunday in the Secure Unit

Seth wanting to know what the dinner is called.

Cain (who has been in care longer) laughing.

Seth throwing soft tomatoes out the window.

Seth wrestling glass from a care worker's hand.

Cain off his face on Tangle Twisters.

Cain on the gear, urinating everywhere.

Seth going to Perks for access with his siblings.

Cain taking the screws out of the table tennis table.

Seth appearing with the leg of a chair.

Cain pinning Seth to the wall.



Kathy D'Arcy


Kathy D’Arcy is a feminist poet, academic and activist based in Cork. She was the Chair of the Cork Together for Yes campaign and is currently working to highlight misconduct in Irish poetry publishing with #WakeUpIrishPoetry. Her collections are Encounter and The Wild Pupil, and in 2018 she edited the collection Autonomy to raise funds and awareness for the Together for Yes campaign. Her doctoral studies were supported by an Irish Research Council Postgraduate scholarship. 

Website: www.kathydarcy.com

Twitter: @KathyDArcyCork