Leland Bardwell was born in India of Irish parents in 1922 and was brought to Ireland at the age of two. Her collections of poetry are The Mad Cyclist (Dublin, New Writers’ Press, 1970); The Fly and the Bedbug (Dublin, Beaver Row Press, 1984); Dostoevsky’s Grave, New and Selected Poems (Dublin, The Dedalus Press, 1991); The White Beach, New & Selected Poems 1960-1988 (Cliffs of Moher, Co Clare, Salmon Publishing, 1998); and The Noise of Masonry Settling (Dublin, Dedalus Press, 2006). Her novels are Girl on a Bicycle (Dublin, Co-Op Books, 1977); That London Winter (Co-Op Books, 1981); The House (Kerry, Brandon, 1984); There We Have Been (Dublin, Attic Press, 1989); and Mother to a Stranger (Belfast, The Blackstaff Press, 2002). A volume of short stories, Different Kinds of Love (Attic Press, 1994, reissued Dedalus Press, 2012) has been translated into German as Zeit vertreibt Liebe. Her plays include Thursday, and Open Ended Prescription. She has also broadcast radio plays, including The Revenge of Constance, and Just Another Killing. Her musical, Edith Piaf, toured Ireland. Her autobiography is A Restless Life (Dublin, Liberties Press, 2008). With MacDara Woods, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, and the late Pearse Hutchinson, she was one of the founders and editors of the long-running literary journal Cyphers. She was a member of Aosdána, and died in Sligo in 2016.
A SINGLE ROSE
by Leland Bardwell
I have willed my body to the furthering of science
Although I’ll not be there
to chronicle my findings
I can imagine all the students
poring over me:
“My God, is that a liver?
And those brown caulifowers are lungs?”
“Yes, sir, a fine example of how not to live.”
“And what about the brain?”
“Alas the brain. I doubt if this poor sample
ever had one.” As with his forceps
he extracts a single rose.