Congratulations to Vona Groarke on winningVona Groarke - Literature Live
the Pigott Poetry Prize at Listowel Writers’ Week

Away

I babysit by Skype,
breakfast to their lunch,
lunch to their dinner.

I straighten uniforms, ask French,
nag music practice, argue Friends,
trim their Bebo access.

I touch their silky faces on my screen.
I am three thousand miles ago,
five hours in the red.

What would it take —
one crossed cyber wire,
a virtual hair’s breadth awry —

for these synapsed hours
to bloat to centuries,
for my background

to be rescinded
to a Botticelli blue,
my webcam image

ruffed and pearled,
speaking vintage words
into spindrift?

Or, failing that,
for me to be headlonged
into light years off

to the room of an obsolete laptop
where I Skype and Skype
and no one answers,

where I Google Earth to see
if the world namechecks
this morning

my son’s bike in the garden,
my daughter’s skirt
on the line?

from Selected Poems (2016)
by Vona Groarke

 

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