The Way My Mother Speaks

by Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy

I say her phrases to myself
in my head
or under the shallows of my breath,
restful shapes moving.
The day and ever. The day and ever.

The train this slow evening
goes down England
browsing for the right sky,
too blue swapped for a cool grey.
For miles I have been saying
What like is it.
The way I say things when I think.
Nothing is silent. Nothing is not silent.
What like is it.

Only tonight
I am happy and sad
like a child
who stood at the end of summer
and dipped a net
in a green, erotic pond. The day
and ever. The day and ever.
I am homesick, free, in love
with the way my mother speaks.

Last updated October 15, 2022