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VICTORIA KENNEFICK

 

 

 

Victoria Kennefick

Victoria Kennefick is a poet, teacher and actor. A native of Shanagarry, Co. Cork, she was a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship in 2007 and completed her PhD in Literature in University College Cork in 2009. She has lectured on the BA and MA programmes in the School of English, UCC, Georgia College and State University and Dublin City University. Most recently, her poetry has appeared in The Stinging Fly (Winter 2012) and she has read her work as part of The Seamus Heaney Summer School 2012, Queen's University, Belfast. Victoria is a member of The Listowel Writers' Week Committee 2013.


 

 

 

 

Beached Whale

 

At first I thought that enormous lump of red-brown on the sand

was the trunk of some ancient, washed-up tree.

 

It was only when I mounted the object,

digging my little hands into something far too pliable,

that it really hit me, the stale smell of a thousand low tides

 

and the mute open mouths of the many onlookers

with their hysterical dogs, the seagulls circling like squalling clouds,

my mother’s curlew scream as she ran towards me, disjointed.

 

Astride the whale like this,

looking at my mother move through dimensions,

planes of distance,

 

I thought of boutique dressing rooms filled to the brim

with tension and clothes, like gas, expanding. And of two little girls

watching their mother cry at her reflection distorted in a fluorescent mirror.

 

The weight of her past made flesh on her hips,

the scars of our arrivals barely healed after all this time,

my blind hands all over the body.

 

Grasping, desperate to hold onto something real,

not knowing what that was.

 

©2012 Victoria Kennefick

 

 

Author Links

 

Stinging Fly 23, containing poem by Kennefick

Academic article by Kennefick on Frank O'Connor

 

 

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