POEMS ON IRELAND
naively wise and youthfully good-intentioned
we ran through distant streets and hills
refueling in pubs and mountains
burning the candles at both ends
waiting for an explosion
a wrong word spoken to freshly-found friends or
the petrol bomb that never came
circumnavigating through a history that was never ours
as if spiders crawling through the sea of fishes
never drowning only moving forward
from county to county- the wind
whipping through meadows
stealing flower petals along the way
and bringing them with us
in a thatched house
we argued over your right to march
in orange down catholic streets.
the debate became too heated, and
you offered us cucumber sandwiches.
afternoon guinness in derry
a gray and misty day better spent in the pub
than in a community center conducting oral histories
you begin to tell me about your history – personal familial national –
i want to ask you about your enemies,
and how their histories are unsurprisingly similar – rich with pride, sorrow, and an unforgiving bias -
but i hold my tongue, while your soft yet unyielding accent falls
into step with the pitter patter
against the window pain.
a wet draft winds its way into the bare room
forcing me to slip my hands up into my coat sleeves and pull up my shoulders.
the afternoon guinness makes me sleepy, and i fight my eyes to stay awake.
dun laoghaire nights
it was two bottles of wine
we drunk on dun laoghaire pier-
one red, one white.
i think we had planned to go sailing
but stayed on land instead.
perhaps there was no wind.
the ocean laid out below,
teasing, calling out as if
ours for the taking.
our baby-faced grins
forever immortalized in a photo
now taped on my parents’ fridge,
six years later.