The unsayable & The colour white (mother)


The unsayable

Pruning the wild roses

Why? Is there any purpose?

each detail

Douglas outpatient


hospital for your psychosis

tarpapering over the window


before the roses fade


meds, the fatigue

scarring lung sarcoidosis,

adult foster home, shelters


public curatorship


oh my daughter

how long has it been?

what is unsayable?


inseparable cloth woven


oh my daughter

why is it so important to you

what are we waiting for?


Youth court declaring:

Unfit mother

sole custody to father


daughters, five and three

son, five months old


walled garden,

rhubarb, dandelions


stones have souls, too

your kind of music


false promises



look     purple lilacs


The colour white (mother)


Sutures and clips

breast soaped up

under surgical lighting

incision area

where drainage tube goes in

stitched in place


I don’t want to see it


the scars

I have so much pain,


the soreness


wearing a long t-shirt

the doctor is a butcher

but you know how afraid I am


daylight shouting at me


Can you hear it, Daughter?

no, there is no sound

  • These poems express Ilona Martoinfi’s true poetic voice, she is a poet of witness and truth, the voice of people who have been oppressed by the State, other people, family members. She is someone worth listening to for poetry that matters.

  • Ilona Martonfi

    Thank you Stephen. Very best wishes, Ilona