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After You Died

From: The Missouri Review
Volume 37, Number 1, 2014
pp. 33-35 | 10.1353/mis.2014.0016

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

I am in Dunnes Stores
thumbing through a rack of wetsuits
trying to find an age 4 for your son.

You are in a rented room in Delhi
smoking and making notes for your latest film.

These days
I am always stuck in Dunnes Stores
trying to find the right wetsuit.
You are always alone in a narrow room,
smoking and making notes.
Your heart is failing but you still don’t know it.
It’s hard to breathe—for me, as well as for you.
Sometimes I wish I could stop loving you.

I am sitting up in bed in the rented house.
The cover is black and white stripes.
There are two windows to the room.
In front of me lies the inlet
and a big lump of raw-boned hillside
crowned with soft soggy cloud.
The window beside the bed
frames sky and thin coloured sands
woven with marram grass.
I am thinking of the drawer I opened in my mother’s study,
the hundreds of your photos that I found there
from that first India trip.

I dipped Thomas into the waves.
He liked being dipped,
he slapped at the water and splashed.
He’s one year old and one month.
You’ve been dead for seven months.
When I was fifteen I dipped you into the waves.

When I saw the Sydney Nolan picture
of Ned Kelly’s sister quilting his black helmet
I knew that’s what I’d always tried to do.
A useless love-filled gesture,
the failure of the gesture,
the blood on the blue quilting,
the blood on your face in the morgue.

If it hadn’t been India
it would have been somewhere else.
Perhaps I’m glad it was India.
Perhaps I’m glad that your window
opened onto the market.
And over the road, the pigeons,
soft coloured rows in their boxes,
talking in low tumbling voices
drowned out by the roar from the street.

Did you drown too in India?
There was the photo of the Ganges,
the liquid light floating the evening water,
the way you broke it as you raised your hand to wave,
the time that you went swimming from the ghats.

Kerry Hardie  

Kerry Hardie has published seven collections of poetry with The Gallery Press, Ireland. Her Selected Poems were published by Bloodaxe Books, U.K., which will also publish her next collection in 2014. She has also written two novels, Hannie Bennett’s Winter Marriage (Harper Collins) and The Bird Woman (Little, Brown) and is currently working on a third. She has won many prizes, including the National Poetry Prize (Ireland) and the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota.

Copyright © 2014 The Curators of the University of Missouri
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Kerry Hardie. "After You Died, and: Watching the Fire Take Your Body, and: The Door, and: Empty Space Poem, Eighteen Months, and: Between Here and There." The Missouri Review 37.1 (2014): 33-39. Project MUSE. Web. 22 Jul. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Hardie, K.(2014). After You Died, and: Watching the Fire Take Your Body, and: The Door, and: Empty Space Poem, Eighteen Months, and: Between Here and There. The Missouri Review 37(1), 33-39. University of Missouri. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
Kerry Hardie. "After You Died, and: Watching the Fire Take Your Body, and: The Door, and: Empty Space Poem, Eighteen Months, and: Between Here and There." The Missouri Review 37, no. 1 (2014): 33-39. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed July 22, 2014).
TY - JOUR
T1 - After You Died, and: Watching the Fire Take Your Body, and: The Door, and: Empty Space Poem, Eighteen Months, and: Between Here and There
A1 - Hardie, Kerry
JF - The Missouri Review
VL - 37
IS - 1
SP - 33
EP - 39
PY - 2014
PB - University of Missouri
SN - 1548-9930
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/missouri_review/v037/37.1.hardie.html
N1 - Volume 37, Number 1, 2014
ER -

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