Tom Sheehan ~ A Recall for Seamus Heaney

Lag4

 

I name myself
walking through the house
before I get there.
On birch floors my shoes
sound dull as wood pulses
an ancient drummer

marked time with.
These dead trees are full
of sassy talk.
A strata of air,
corporeally chilled, moves
a cubit wide in the kitchen,

a polar exercise
taking place.
I have been
other places before,
before I got there:
banging a curragh

against the Atlantic
the long watch
of a day,
wind full of slam
and salt and voice
of the seal;

blackening spuds
in a field fire,
chatting rain alive
on slow coals of sticks
like hiccups, hawthorns
for roofing and stone

markers for walls;
pressed foul as fish
in subterranean passage
with the metallic Atlantic
telling me all its
old stories,

icebergs and whales
and the loan sharks
waiting in the new land;
scavenging a city dump
for furniture, books
and bedding,

waging private wars
against prejudice, hunger,
Roscommon calling me home;
this kitchen, now,
dark-cornered, remote, out
of which I walk toward myself.

 

Tom Sheehan is the author of Jehrico – Eleven Stories of a Mexican Boy in the Old West (Hammer & Anvil Books 2016) and the 2016 Danse Macabre Artist-in-Residence. Read more of his work in DM 101 ~ Schlaraffenland upcoming this weekend at http://www.dansemacabremagazine.com.
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