I have spoken to no one for days
but the small bird with the black band
of neck as it bobs its way in front of me,
feigns nesting in the torc of wrack in the sand
and a man in a scrapie wool jumper
picks broken teeth from the strand;
if he opens the black cavern of his mouth
and utters three, two, even one word
I’ll be gone with him.
The day comes when you can no longer
squeeze into the old coat of yourself.
Slievemore stays where it is,
has never moved its whole old life
but waits for the farmers to shift
their animals up and down with the seasons.
My bones know change the way birds know sky,
the way they let go of the light over the deserted village
the way the grass knows it, bitten down to the quick.
From Urgency of Stars ( Arlen House, 2010)