New Voices: May | Jennifer Connaughton Silva

Tie Some Thread To The Frozen Fly’s Leg

and walk him
when he wakes.
Source a toy, baby boy
Baby hands
pocket garden grenades.
All big now you tell me
all there is to masculinity.
I ask you ‘Baby,
what made dog
Boy a man?’
Well, he had all
these teeth
and loved me all his life
without them.
That’s it.
I had never gripped
my pink fingers
around a man’s teeth –
or a strong arm –
even just to feel it.
But you are a neat
and numbered bundle
of beyond expectation:

  1. you looked at me
  2. I am not bored of your body
  3. because it belongs to your head
  4. and is the only in entirety I ever wanted to see
  5. in a hurry

Please don’t break
the other leg.
You said it’s mine too.
Remind me how
splitting limbs
makes less for me,
and more for you?

Men hold their teethknives
in their hands and take over.

Sometimes it’s best to look like dad
and be mother.

Hotel Breakfast

Old man gentleman
gets up from his wife
and warm to the nape
of my sister’s neck, he says,
Thank you
for such a beautiful spread –
including present company.
And how else would my sister be
but so happily a pleasant spread
for Good Sir. I feared it had always
clung to her, deep in her psyche,
quite how tragic it would be
to never paralleled rightly
the beauty of the yoghurt.


The little boy on his Daddy’s hip
is made of colours & stripes.
The far side of a dirty fringe,
big brother strikes,
scores & it is holy.
This is grey-eyed glory,
sprinting on green, singing it,
drinking it. Youngest,
I try to be it.

My mother is
ninety-eight percent green.
She took a test.
My father isn’t.
Yet, home is multiple, she says,
and this is part of yours.

Older, I try the river.
She is pretty.
She crawls, a lady
never much in a hurry.
I like her well enough.
Late, she lets colour
lie on top. I wonder does she taste
of all that deposits in her.

Bleaching white skies but she’s
never been that shade of peace.
River is so cold. Her calm
has no embrace.

Home is multiple &
this one’s supple,
wet Ireland for the taming.

Now I sit in right lights
& discover brown is rooted in gold.
Coveted Miss Meadow,
you are plenty.
Blue topping green,
streaked with evening orange beams,
you might more regularly consult
the glittering muck underneath.
The mud of my eye,
of his, is right, and I was wrong.
I want never his hair
to be the colour of wheat
& I will cut the bleached
of mine, the thick from the straw.

Home is multiple,
mobile, breathing.
I do not believe in an Ireland
birthing her belongings.

Submissions are open for all HeadStuff poetry categories, including Poem of The Week (Every Friday), Unbound (longer sequence of poems from a single poet), and New Voices (submissions from poets under the age of 30.) We accept both written, audio and video recorded poems as long as the quality of the audio and video is of a high standard.

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Photo by Ali Inay on Unsplash