‘She Wouldn’t Be Able To Come To You So Often If She Were Alive’ – A Poem and Two Images by clare e. potter

‘She Wouldn’t Be Able To Come To You So Often If She Were Alive’*

from Kim Hyesoon

It’s when I’m washing, usually, the dishes,
it’s when I’m lost in a heat of suds
and I’m looking out the window, not staring
mind you, not fixed on anything but not really
seeing, it’s then, it’s then I feel her. I feel her
hand on my shoulder, and now I think of it
the first time was when the kids were babies
when I was delirious and brushing bottles
and teats, decontaminating and weeping into the sink
standing in my piss, and there, her hand on my shoulder;

this first touch was a light touch
not on account of her being dead of course,
she is no longer a wisp of a thing, but
on account of her not wanting to shock
me, on account of her bringing me back
into myself, knowingly nudging me, look
the touch said, look at the fly in the window,
the white rabbit on the grass.

*translated by Don Mee Choi

Photo by author’s 10 year old daughter, Ava John

clare e. potter’s spilling histories (Cinnamon Press, 2006) will be followed by A Certain Darkness. A bilingual poet and performer, clare has translated for the National Poet of Wales, was a Hay Festival Writer at Work, enjoys facilitating community projects and collaborating with jazz musicians. She’s currently researching the creative process for Threshold, a new poetry collection thanks to a Literature Wales bursary. She directed BBC Wales documentary The Wall and the Mirror. Tweets: @clare_potter

Banner: line by clare e. potter. 2nd photo: Ginko by clare e. potter

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