PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Monthly Carcanet Books
Gratis Ad 1
Next Issue Helene Cixous We Defy Augury Carola Luther From ‘Letter to Rasool’ Sarah Rothenberg Ashberyana Jena Schmidt The Many-Faced Lola Ridge Helen Tookey Almost Drowning

This poem is taken from PN Review 245, Volume 45 Number 3, January - February 2019.

Mother as Spy Patrick McGuinness
Mother as Widow

The barely-perceptible drag
of the marriage she’s carrying:
like a bird who’s been tagged
and who flies with the weight
of its near-weightless ring.



Mother as Spy

All of our words for spying are taken
from the dictionary of sleep;
though it is the spy who is awake,
and the world around her sleeps.

This is my life, she thinks, I am in deep cover,
embedded in my motherhood, my marriage,
the things they see but which I’m something other
than. We eat and sleep and breathe and age

together – he and I; me and him;
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image