Daddy Sends The Banshee

Those nights,
when the wind is bashing
the window-screens
‘til they bone-rattle
(charnel-house choppers
in a glass by the bed

As I lie awake,
in that nowhere-world
of memory and tomorrow’s plans,
I hear her cry
through the neighbouring birch,
and the pinnacle of pines that lines
the cemetery wall.

It is then I recall,
my Irish father’s
witch-cackle of glee,
as he caught me off-guard
(jumping out from behind the turret at that castle;
masking up and knocking at the front door
He snickers yet
in my soft wet ear.

My head holds firm to the pillow,
plastered to the plumpest spot,
where I find small comfort
from the wail of Daddy’s banshee
coming for me,
but the wood-frame windows
hold her out.

She’s very cross now;
her pitch is high and shrill,
as my pillow
swallows me whole,
and I go to a better place
where lambs frolic in the afternoon sun
and blades of grass
are there
to be whistled.

Kat Mortensen©2010


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