Did your mother look Irish?
With no trace of a smile,
the woman poet, visiting from Dublin,
scanned my face.
What was her maiden name?
Hyland, I replied.
Ah, not a very common name back home.
What border did she defend,
so persistent in her interrogation,
as I argued my long-dead mother and
ancestors back through the port of Cobh,
into the purple-blue hills of Connemara—
their wild, hungry Beauty.
Jane Attanucci has poems published in Halfway Down the Stairs, Off the Coast, The Quotable and Right Hand Pointing, among others, and forthcoming in the Pittsburgh Poetry Review. Her chapbook, First Mud, (finalist in the Blast Furnace Contest, 2014) was released by Finishing Line Press (2015). She lives in Cambridge, Mass.
© 2017, Jane Attanucci