Reduction by Alvy Carragher

Poet name: Alvy Carragher Poem name: Reduction Poem: I keep writing my mother into kitchens as if I cannot imagine her another way, cake cooling on counter, knife on table, the disturbance of us in the background. A life in dollhouse proportions – a stove, a child, four walls pressing in on her, never the sharp turn of her head, never her dark and restless silences. Maybe this is how I want her preserved, bending over ovens, crooning to the radio, a careful sketch contained by the page. How can I write the word mother and not reduce her to the idea of one? Like berries cooked down to a sweet jam after all their wild and irresistible living. End of poem.  Credits and bio: Copyright © Alvy Carragher Previously published in Poetry Ireland Review and a video recording was archived by Ireland’s National Poetry Archive.  Alvy Carragher is an Irish poet based in Toronto. She has published three books, as well as numerous articles, blogs and poetry featured across a wide range of publications. Her second poetry book “the men I keep under my bed” was published in 2021, and her debut collection “Falling in love with broken things”, was published in 2016, both by Salmon Poetry. Chicken House Books published her children’s book, The Cantankerous Molly Darling, in 2019. You can find out more at