Becoming Anne Bradstreet

It happens again
As soon as I take down her book and open it.
I turn the page.
My skies rise higher and hang younger stars.
The ship's rail freezes.
Mare Hibernicum leads to Anne Bradstreet's coast.
A blackbird leaves her pine trees
And lands in my spruce trees.
I open my door on a Dublin street.
Her child/her words are staring up at me:
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun cloth, i' th' house I find.
We say home truths
Because her words can be at home anywhere—
At the source, at the end and whenever
The book lies open and I am again
An Irish poet watching an English woman
Become an American poet.

Eavan Boland, “Becoming Anne Bradstreet” from Shakespeare’s Sisters: Women Writers Bridge Five Centuries, published by the Folger Shakespeare Library. Copyright © 2012 by Eavan Boland. Reprinted by permission of Eavan Boland.
Source: Shakespeare’s Sisters: Women Writers Bridge Five Centuries (Folger Shakespeare Library, 2012)
More Poems by Eavan Boland