Heavy on the heart, (for now that is)

a poem by
KAREN CLEARY | Mother + Poet 

Dark sorrows, I’ve come to realise, can be silenced by God’s light and love, providing a profound peace and joy as the heart responds. 
This piece is dedicated to the Mother I should have appreciated more, forgiven earlier, and valued deeper. 

Photo by Hernan Sanchez

BRIGHT-eyed and bushy-tailed, that’s me.
I take a breath so deep
So as to fill the whole of my abdomen with renewed hope,
But that familiar spasm strikes. Again,
Down in the pit of my gut.
A painful reminder of the anguish.
I grimace like a lioness protecting her cubs, and ferociously
Rub at my tummy through the zip of my jeans, easing it somewhat.
For now that is.

I comb my hair in the mirror and begin to hum.
A tune my Mother once sang in a dream.
Scarlet ribbons for her hair.
My eyes swell, azure blue like opaline glass.
Matching the jewelled pattern on the tiffany lamp shade, I happen to notice as I
Gently dab at the mascara splotched teardrop on my cheek.
A new breath. Bracing, like the
Wrench, as fresh, as this new day.
Pain flushed away, in that one bead of moisture and a gulp.
For now, that is.

I can hear the kids bickering in the kitchen downstairs.
I apply the red chilli pepper lipstick I bought last week.
Through the night my heart was aching. Just before the dawn was breaking,
And just like a gazelle outruns the lioness
I’m bright eyed and bushy tailed
with a painted scarlet smile.

For now, that is.



Mother + Poet

Karen Cleary loves nothing better than spending time with family, walking her dogs with her partner and children, and coffee with friends.  She makes time for creativity when she can, amidst busy family life, and enjoys writing. With a couple of unfinished projects she hopes to finish before finish before she’s a hundred, she’s discovered, in the meanwhile, an enthusiasm for poetry. She also likes to draw and paint, so if she could have been born an octopus, the world could have been her oyster! She gains inspiration from anything from people to nature, movies and dreams to her relationship with God and her spirituality. She plays Irish folk music on the guitar with her musical Father, Sisters, Brother (And anyone else in the family with an instrument, voice or rhythmic hands or feet) and is enjoying being a new Mother again, 21 years after her first child.