Road-opening

Road-opening

The Council shut the road outside Crawford Woods

on Thursday

without warning

blocked the way down Church Hill

forced us all to detour

crawlingly

day after day until sundown on Saturday.

They even parked a road-repairing, four-wheeled, monstrosity

–  a rhinoceros of a stone-chip spreader –

outside the house of Adrian and Eimear

so obtrusively

we couldn’t avoid talking to each other

for the first time since Halloween.

‘Twas sticking plaster on potholes

for the sake of bumps in the night

tyres in the daylight.

 

II

On the third, day the cock crowed

before the sun returned,

we could turn left again

to embrace our over-hanging trees

and shadow side.

Shards covered over

at least temporarily,

boulders removed

so earthworms can move forward now

beyond the known universe.

Road-opening without ceremony

an invitation to return to fruitful ways

–  the journey of a lifetime.

After the concession

After the concession

A black bird sits on a telephone line,

suspended between wooden poles

aged by water.

This is no day for tears,

no moment for regrets,

no time for tearing-out hair.

There are other black birds

and a seagull catching light

over the Northside.

There is a hill to descend

a twisting road

past cars

and fading disintegrating leaves.

There’s even sun in my eyes.

It’s easier to say nothing,

to notice the knot,

to register the wish

to lock the toilet door

and simply sit.

Oh yes, there’s reason to be thoughtful,

there’s always reason to reflect,

looking at clouds heavy with mist.

There’s always a will to inaction,

a will to ossify.

Black bird statues

behind a crooked spire,

the one with the lightening rod on top.

The off-licence shut,

the graffiti craves attention,

I see Aer Lingus was looking for my vote

‘smart makes the right choice

for Stateside flights this winter’.

The wounded leopard must go back for more food,

the thirsting camel must trek on,

the beehive must protect and cherish

and guard their queen,

even when forced to swarm.

This is no day for tears,

it’s a day my mother did her best to prepare me for,

and my father knew would come.

Remember Job is more than one man,

and black birds are ever present

whenever there’s a breath to be drawn.

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