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Poetry: Aoife Lyall

photo: Ruth McKee

‘poetry is a way of happening, a mouth’—W.H. Auden

Silt, by Aoife Lyall


It gathers in the riverbeds and basins of your hands.

You hold it tight in your small fists: it is the tenuous

grasp you have on the world and you resist when I

try to loosen it. Asleep, I unfurl each newborn finger

and, with the tip of my smallest nail, lift the daily

sediment away. Beneath, the long lines of your life,

your head, your heart, run still and deep: your future

mapped out in miniature, tucked into the steadfast

folds and creases of your palms.

‘Silt’ is from Aoife Lyall’s debut collection, Mother, Nature (Bloodaxe Books)