No matter what our intention,
We never meant to stay.
My pillow, with the face of a wolf,
Watches me refill my mug.
My broken wing hangs limp,
My dreams of flight
Channeling through this pen.
(By god!) I am here again!
(But why say "again",
When everything is whispering
That being away was only a dream.)
Across the point of return (or no return)
Beyond the graveyard where 120 saints are buried
In single file, we, four of us,
Cross the furthest patch of green.
Deep moss cushioning our tread,
Reminding us of how close we are
To the dead.
(And I, imagining
That we might have been saints ourselves
A mere 1200 years ago!)
Rabbits vanish just ahead
On their wee indented paths
That cross and recross
The belly of the goddess
While an old one watches from the threshold of his hole
As he has, no doubt, watched so many of us
He sits like a rock that rolled from a wall,
His ears flat back.
He'll never trust us,
But he trusts that we will soon be gone.
Our leader shows us where to sit to pray,
Mingling with the spray.
Already the distance is muting the thunder
Of the waves
Crashing on the rocks of Inis Meanin.
Or is that just a sign
Of my withdrawal from this memory,
As my focus returns to the kitchen
This morning of our departure and
Our inevitable return to Rome.
(Article changed on May 8, 2019 at 18:12)