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I Am Connemara

I Am Connemara

Lightning’s digital signal pulses on, off. On. Off. The sun hangs in gauzes through cygnet clouds, asks the rainbow to come back, come back, and he does: a stooping giant with seven colours in his cobweb skin. Life is too little to hold this. I rattle the car along strange roads, peaks, ragged valleys. When I see water, it carries acres of impulsive sky. I descend into a village. Park among stones outside a stout-chimneyed cottage. Her cottage. Somewhere, I have breathed in a moth – it flits from organ to organ. Her sister, my aunt, opens the door, opens her arms. I, motherless, need the weight of her. She fits into my glass mosaic, then leads me towards the kitchen: there are other aunts in there, slicing barmbrack, and uncles against worksurfaces, cousins and second cousins around the table – all with my crab apple wrist bones and dark, tiny wishing trees in their eyes. An old man stares as if he lost me once. You must have something to drink. I don’t drink alcohol. They laugh. Neither do we at four o’clock, darlin’. Tea? Twenty years are an aerial puppet show between us as shadows eavesdrop in the nooks. They talk about Mummy. Before babies. Before Daddy. The girl who ran across the mountains, who went out at dusk to meet lads who put field roses in her hair. She sang while writing poetry; put on forbidden lipstick while she gave each little one a piggy back in turn. She stayed awake, hoarding moonlight. She was the lulls and crescendos in the weather. She is a Gaelic myth. The faery story none of us could catch. You’re like her when you cry, they say.

~ Olivia Tuck


Olivia Tuck has had poems and prose published in literary journals and webzines, including The Interpreter's House, Lighthouse, Amaryllis and Three Drops from a Cauldron. Her work also featured in Please Hear What I'm Not Saying, a charity poetry anthology on the subject of mental health, and she has been Highly Commended and shortlisted in one or two story competitions. She is due to start at Bath Spa University this autumn, to study for a BA in Creative Writing. Find her on Twitter: @livtuckwrites

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