The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Fiction from Mexico City

David Cooke: 1 Poem Published

SPEECHLESS

for Tamim

 

When he hears us calling

his name he knows

it’s him we mean –

its tongue-tap, resonance,

and murmur of labials...

 

Yet now he is making

himself at home

our expectations wither.

We wait for a hint, a trickle...

 

He can shape a word

with his hands, or share

his madcap smile.

He can reach out

and grab his brother’s

favourite car –

when Meem! No! Meem!

fills his ears

with its shrill refusal.

 

Mopping up frustration,

his mother sweeps him

into her arms and says

his name again.

 

It lets him know

he’s perfect,

whole, complete…

 

Like her we hold

our breath. Like him

we hold our peace.

 


 Poem by David Cooke (UK)

Published in The Ofi Press Issue 34

About the Poet

 

David Cooke won a Gregory Award in 1977 and published his first collection, Brueghel’s Dancers in 1984. His retrospective collection, In the Distance, was published in 2011 by Night Publishing and a collection of more recent pieces, Work Horses, has recently been published by Ward Wood Publishing.  His poems, translations and reviews have appeared widely in British and Irish journals including Agenda, Ambit, The Bow Wow Shop, The Critical Quarterly, The Irish Press, The London Magazine, Magma, The North, Orbis,  Other Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Reader, The SHOp and Stand. 

Image used under Creative Common Laws by Keoni Cabral: "Honolulu Ghost Child"