Braided Rug

Braided Rug

The all America rag rug
I hide my feet in
twists as the Hudson
has learned to twist
outdoing its clouds
of dust. It opens out -
as the Missouri offers
in flood and mire
its aims,
or the Potomac pulls
at its raggedy banks.

It braids blue-grey
with river-black, silver
for the rare winter stillness
as if left out all night
by the mountains.
The repeated stopped waters
creak with my weight.

The floorboards of our kitchen
are polished to a nicety.
I am nimble on these knots.
I speak all the reiverland tongues
of my mother tongue.
My accent fathers me.
My voice is too loud -
even the heron, the herring gull
disappear.

In the middle of London
I am elsewhere. To the long gone,
to the dead in me
I cry breathe now, breathe.
I know my bailwick
I stand on my rug.


from Breathe Now, Breathe (Enitharmon, 1995), © Jane Duran 1995, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Sponsor this poem

Would you like to sponsor this poem? Find out how here.

Recordings

Jane Duran

Jane Duran Downloads

1Braided Rug

£0.89

2Returning

£0.89

3Time Zones

£0.89

4River

£0.89

5Stillborn

£0.89

6Miscarriage

£0.89

7Snow Pudding

£0.89

8The Orange Tree in Cordoba

£0.89

9Link

£0.89

10Great Grandfathers

£0.89

11Introduction to Silences from the Spanish Civil War

£0.89

12Spanish Civil War

£0.89

13Research

£0.89

14Maestrazgo

£0.89

15Eye Witness

£0.89

16To the Aragon Front

£0.89

17Battle of Teruel, Winter 1937-8

£0.89

18Sardine Tin

£0.89

19Crossing at Miravet, 1938

£0.89

20Road to the French Border, 1939

£0.89

21Letters, 1940

£0.89

22Paterna, 1939-42

£0.89

23Not Talking About Franco, 1959

£0.89

24Coastline, 1960

£0.89

25The Pyrenees

£0.89

26Coastal

£0.89

27Cape Porpoise, Maine

£0.89

28Stroke

£0.89

29Coat

£0.89

30Hairpins

£0.89

31The Past

£0.89

32There Are Women

£0.89

33Coming About

£0.89

34To My Mother and Father

£0.89

35Tracks

£0.89

36Introduction to Zagharit

£0.89

37The Mat

£0.89

38Petit Pain

£0.89

39What We Know

£0.89

40Nightlight

£0.89

41Ramy

£0.89

42Water

£0.89

43What is Written

£0.89

44Sabbat

£0.89

45Mid-Winter

£0.89

46Haircut

£0.89

47Mint Tea

£0.89

48Coastal Route

£0.89

49Confluence

£0.89

50El Attaf, 1958

£0.89

51Zagharit

£0.89

Books by Jane Duran