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Image by Kelly Sikkema


the madrigal, volume ii


by shauna smullen

My sister was born in the month of our grandmother,

May planted her love into the earth in the shape of a Copper Beech.


The seedlings grew in the shadow of each other

arms branching out, legs taking root.

The bright sun of summer in Finglas

coloured in their small hands.


The drop of Autumn leaves created a new nest

to cushion her fall as she took her first steps

towards our grandmother’s open heart.


In Winter, the copper kids felt the cold wind

blow through their bare frames as they found

new sounds to speak into the air.


After four Springs together, the saplings got a sister.

For me, May planted roses and love took root once more.


As we grew like weeds together

my sister taught me to pay attention to my companion,

to allow myself to grow as steady and strong as them.


At full bloom, May clipped the thorns

adorning my roses so I wouldn’t get hurt

and I learnt to keep my thorns unsaid.


When our grandmother returns to the earth,

the permanence of her love will continue to grow always.

Shauna Smullen is a queer, Dublin based writer. She recently finished a Masters in Creative Writing in UCD. She is currently working on a collection of short stories about body trauma called A Body Like Mine.Her poetry has appeared in Rachael Hegarty’s anthology Making Sense of Finglas and This is Not Where I Belong and her prose has been published by Idle Ink.

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