The Christmas Baby
Like the Christmas baby he once had been,
he took his timely leave in December.
He had barely gone
when at her word,
they ushered in the makeshift altar
and my mother,
her voice oddly masterful in that stricken room,
led them in the sorrowful mysteries.
But while they prayed,
I alone stayed
and saw that pagan moon
sail above the windowsill;
how, orange-red, she lit his bed,
burnishing the peaks of that still face,
his nose, cheek, and chin,
illuminating the planes of an unknown terrain,
the loved one, newly dead.
Every moon of the year that followed,
grief would wear a different face.
Maria Hoey has had short stories and articles published widely while her poetry has been published by Poetry Ireland. In 2014, her short story ‘Reading Brother Boniface’ was shortlisted for the Michael McLaverty Award, then later included in Counterparts. This year, her debut novel THE LAST LOST GIRL was published by Poolbeg Press and shortlisted for the Kate O’Brien and Annie McHale awards, while her second novel ON BONE BRIDGE was published in July.
Maria grew up in Swords and lives in Portmarnock, Co. Dublin, with her husband. She has one daughter. At present, she is working on her third novel and teaching an online writing course: ‘Begin Your Novel.’