I was dreaming my real self
when I woke with a jolt, had just slipped
out of my seventh skin
was approaching the nub of the thing.
Like a chrysalis from ‘Khrusos’
meaning gold and holding S.O.S within it,
I was slowly unpeeling
my wings, glittering with metallic sheen,
cautiously emerging from the split
cocoon, to dry in the clamour of air.
Before I got to test them,
see if I could really fly,
emerged into the abundant dawn light,
leaking from behind the blinds
that looked like a frame of light,
my whole life held in a hidden picture.

Raucous gulls shrieked
morning greetings, my alarm buzzing
until I silenced it, hand groping blindly
and I rebirthed my self in the linen winding sheet
of my bedclothes, emerged
from beneath the bedrock, shielded
my eyes from the crux of it. I pressed down
on my abundant battered heart
shook off the tug of seeping spring tides.
Somewhere deep underground,
buried rivers swell like amniotic fluid.



Jean O’Brien‘s sixth collection Stars Burn Regardless is due from Salmon Publishing this year.  Her work is widely published, she won the Arvon International Award, The Fish International, and was placed in others including the Forward Prize.