A single stream of rain pours from a damaged gutter,
blows slantwise in the heavy gusts,
a straggling thread from the long grey gown of
Cailleach Bheur, Hag Queen of Winter,
bringer of storms.
Some say she is one-eyed,
with bad teeth and
I say she is a painted woman
dressed in grief, standing
barefooted in icy waters, screaming
I say she is mother of a lost child,
face puffed like a blowfish;
I say she is wife of a sailor asleep in the sea,
womb-clenched against emptiness;
I say she’s a teenaged girl with a razor.
Cailleach Bheur –
one size fits all.
In the night I am alone, one light out of a hundred black windows as
through the hours the wind-crone
hurls herself at the old hotel:
I can frighten you, she shrieks,
I can make you remember everything.