Jenny Hickey is a retired speech and language therapist living in Ballydehob, West Cork.
Her poetry is inspired by love, life, and locality. In better times, she read it at ScoraImageocht and Co. – a monthly gathering of local writers, singers and lyricists.
Some of her poems have been published in an anthology of their work; ScoraImageocht and Co. in Print.
I watch, distracted from my thoughts,
as they drive home points,
hammers hitting off their argument
with well-toned strokes.
This is no new task,
but one they work with practised skill,
each one using chosen tools to break the other’s will;
to place their levers in the cracks;
to chip around the edges of supporting facts.
I wait for the impending crash,
but they have built these walls before.
As they approach head-height,
one, or both of them, withdraw.
Last night I broke you.
Something inside me flipped
and I let loose a string
of angry arrows from my lips.
One of them hit
and your poor, gentle heart
I saw then, in your eyes,
the hurt surprise.
Tearing myself apart,
I searched the chambers of my heart
for string, for Selotape, for glue,
A little packet of Sugrue;
the things I need to mend you.
I found, instead, a truth:
in breaking you, it broke me too.
(Shards was previously published in ScoraImageocht and Co. in Print. 2020)
Cocooned. (For HJB.)
Swaddled in facts.
Beneath the bands of your concern
I feel the screw begin to turn.
Twisting, I test
the limits of this nest.
Swathed as I am in loneliness,
I must break free.
Without the opposing
force of others
I cease to be.