‘Orphan’ – part of feminist mothering poetry collection

‘Orphan’ is a hauntingly beautiful poem written by Blas Falconer and is taken from ‘Borderlands and Crossroads’. Blas is an acclaimed poet who has won a number of awards including the ‘Maureen Egen Literary Award’, the ‘New Delta Review Eyster Prize’ for poetry and the ‘Barthelme Fellowship’.


I’d come to help settle your

mother’s affair. On the last night,


we ate where she worked

all her life. Now that she’s gone,


you said, I’ll never come back.

Looking out over the dark, you saw


a light in the distance, a boat

crossing the bay, and told


the story of the fisherman

cursed to float adrift


forever. You hadn’t thought of it

since you were a child, and held


your hand across the table to

show me how it trembled.


I didn’t understand until, alone,

years later, wandering the city where


I was born, I stood before

a black wall, polished to shimmer


and it looked to me like the sea

at night, hard and endless



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