Night Feed

Night Feed is a loving poem by Eavan Boland. The poem describes a mother getting up in the night to give here baby daughter a feed from her bottle.

Ireland’s 100 favourite poems

The theme of the poem is one that all parents will be able to relate to. Night Feed was voted as one of Ireland’s favourite 100 poems by readers of the Irish Times in 1999.

Night Feed by Eavan Boland. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Night Feed

This is dawn.
Believe me
This is your season, little daughter.
The moment daisies open,
The hour mercurial rainwater
Makes a mirror for sparrows.
It’s time we drowned our sorrows.

I tiptoe in.
I lift you up
Wriggling
In your rosy, zipped sleeper.
Yes, this is the hour
For the early bird and me
When finder is keeper.

I crook the bottle.
How you suckle!
This is the best I can be,
Housewife
To this nursery
Where you hold on,
Dear Life.

A silt of milk.
The last suck.
And now your eyes are open,
Birth-colored and offended.
Earth wakes.
You go back to sleep.
The feed is ended.

Worms turn.
Stars go in.
Even the moon is losing face.
Poplars stilt for dawn
And we begin
The long fall from grace.
I tuck you in.

Night Feed by Eavan Boland. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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