restricted access Rain Song, and: Lullaby
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Rain Song, and: Lullaby

The weather forecast on the radio—yellow warning of snow for Scotland,northern England and the Midlandsreminds me how far we have drifted.

Blizzards in London, while here the skyis shrunk to the size of a dishcloth.It rains, and then it rains,softly, but soaking everything.

There is a point at which greenspills over into other things—down the lane and into the ditcheswhere the dogs lap it upuntil they are full as eggs.

Snow settles on the life I livedwhile here the rain is persistent.

The sound of it swimsaround my head like a fishoohing and aahingat that and at this.

The water runs back uphill to meet me,it pools in my shoes. Itfills my eyes until it’sspilling over again,down the laneand into the ditches.

Starlings sing the rain song.Softly, but softly, the dogs bark. [End Page 319]


The moon swings from a black canopyabove the small white house.Someone is sleeping with black stars.

You sleep in the crook of my arm,your little mouth pushed into a pout by the pillow,a single black curl against the white.

I write in the dark out of the implosion of lightthat the black sky is.

Or: I write in the light from the snowthrough the same square windowthat has become a brood frame in a hive.

The bees swarm on the electric fence.Or: they nosedive into the window,black as molasses, all buzziness. [End Page 320]

Rebecca O’Connor

Rebecca O’Connor was born in Wexford in 1975 and grew up in Cavan. She won the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2004 and her chapbook Poems was published by the Wordsworth Trust, where she was a writer in residence in 2005. Her debut collection, We’ll Sing Blackbird, was published in 2012 and was shortlisted for the dlr Strong/Shine Poetry Award 2013. Her poetry has been published in, among other places, The Guardian, Poetry Ireland, Poetry Review, and The Spectator. Rebecca designs and edits The Moth and The Caterpillar magazines and runs the annual Moth Short Story Prize and Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize.