Victoria Kennefick

Shadow Bird

Inspired by a poem by Dimitra Xidous


In the bedroom we twist thumbs so they entwine, our fingers fan,

lined palms present themselves, undersides of dove’s wings;

hands couple, plucked bald and lined, flying towards light.

It throws shapes against pink-painted walls,

veins delicate where red life streams,

the dove-shadow wings over us,

cracks in half at the cornice.

We know those wings that cradle us

like an egg, whole and full and waiting; we throw

the bird further from the lamp, smoothness spreads

to take the entire room.  This bird has nestled in the scoop

of your chest, pulsing, but our tiny muscles shudder, the bird

faint, our fingers break beat for beat, as it grows light we fall asleep.


Victoria Kennefick won the Red Line Book Festival Poetry Prize in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize 2014 judged by Emily Berry. Her chapbook, White Whale, won the Munster Literature Centre Fool for Poetry Competition and was launched at the Cork Spring Poetry Festival 2015.  She has poems forthcoming in New Irish Writing, The Penny Dreadful and Bare Fiction.  Follow her @VKennefick.