I'm plagued by the feeling that it's never enough -- what I do with Sophie. I'm talking about stimulation and recreational activities. In the absence of Communicamp or anything affordable near us, in these last weeks before school begins again, I am reminded of how pressing the need for young adults to be integrated into the community. I don't have any answers, and when I try to take action, I feel as if I'm in tar, my feet heavy. I do a disservice every single day to this beautiful young woman, and I can only acknowledge that, not judge myself too harshly and hope that I'll feel a bit more energy tomorrow.
A Tiny Clue
You could spend your entire life
eavesdropping on the mermaid
before you'd pick up the tiniest little clue
about where she was really from. One autumn day
I happened upon
her and her child
while she was comforting it under her shawl.
'You are not the blue-green pup of the seal.
You are not the grey chick of the greater black-backed gull.
You are not the kit of the otter. Nor are you
the calf of the slender hornless cow.'
This was the lullaby she was singing
but she stopped short
immediately she realized
someone else was in the neighborhood.
I had the distinct sense she was embarrassed
I'd overheard her in the first place.
I also came away with the impression
the lullaby was, to put it mildly, redolent of the sea.
Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill
translated from Irish by Paul Muldoon
The Fifty Minute Mermaid