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Catherine Gander: a poem

The Plunge

Slack little lump punctured by pin feathers,

rain-speckled, muted wings pitched back by

the tarmac's solid shock. Near passerine, perhaps,

eye rimed with dirt, fixed on some distant point in air

the coordinates of its mistake. It's not the first

I've swerved the stroller to avoid / broken breast-

bone, milky gaze / how suddenly the stride of a day

changes tempo and a moment turns to matter

granular and sharp as roadside grit. I've cast my body

into hope and returned fulfilled and emptied,

fearful still of what lasts and what is lost. Like

hollow bones, a thing will always carry

its own absence.

Catherine Gander is associate professor of literature at Maynooth University, Ireland. She has lived and worked in several countries, and is a critic, poet, scholar and artist. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in a number of journals and books, including Ink Sweat & Tears, Juniper, Poetry Ireland Review, Wolf Poetry Magazine, and the Irish Times.

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