Anne McCabe – Five Poems

Anne McCabe is a writer/director for theatre and television living in Galway.
She has published two novels, Under the Avalanche and So Much at One. She previously had her poem, Beach Walk, published in The Galway Review in 2014 and during lockdown, discovered that poetry could express the visceral, unsayable, fleeting thoughts.


This is what it’s like
being old
Patiently waiting
for a surprise caller
that unexpected letter
the phone to ring

All the while
dabbing on rouge
patting her nose with powder
smearing on lipstick
wearing a smile over
those perfect pearls,

And then,
watching the sun go down
over the big tree
at the top of the garden,


of silk-
Strung like a harp
the web collects
rows of gemstones
catching light
to form shapes
of music
yet to come

The skeins shiver
in early morning sun
playing arpeggios
of green and red
as the light trips
and falls,
onto spun chords
impervious to wind.

This spider continues
to weave through each night
a taut barrier
outside my window,
So that, as I push it open
the web expands, stretches,
yet holds

Firm against all
or destruction
of its innate will
to survive-
She follows her chosen path
creating endlessly her same
fragile pattern
of perfection.


hooves on grass
pave endless fields
to far horizons

Whitethorn, shy on boughs
against blue sky
Scenting summer
from drystone walls

The castle trees
once sown by me
spread wildly
grown like adult children

Nod to a far-off past
bitterly sweet,
as the newly-turned
sod of a fresh grave.


January leaches
into a tenuous spring
a lull of sorts
lurches in gasps
of cloud
lurking behind rain
to appear in lurid
Piercing retinas
clamouring for attention
against the squalls
the wind
and waves
struggle heroically

towards hope.


Every little gesture
my mother makes
gently fingering on
her face cream
Now too, so do I.

Her movements
to bathe, slowly
Her daily shower
hair net, non-slip mat
talcum powder, a spray of that
Chanel, before donning
pearls, her gold watch,
I mimic that.

there is no rush
to work, to school,
Our lives before
measured by minutes,
by steps, in seconds counted-
our heart rates faster still until
we didn’t talk at all
there was

in lockdown,
there is only
And so,
I too
can be slow
like my mother
at ninety-two.



Aside | This entry was posted in News, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Anne McCabe – Five Poems

  1. bronfan says:

    These are really beautiful poems. Very relatable and they reflect the mood totally of the lockdown – well, of my lockdown anyway! Thank you so much for writing these.

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