A Journey To My Roots
Poem By Seán O Muiríosa
The old house stood as sturdy as ever
even as the mangled jade ivy clung and grasped
as it had for decades, but she would never be killed.
It’s not in her make-up.
A strangely small garden shook me at first
until memory kicked in removing all those fears
with its usual record of rhetoric:
I had not been here now for close on ten years...
Inside a marbled, brown chocolate fireplace greeted us.
There was some catching up
over mugs a’ tae and sweet crumbly biscuits.
A cool chill snapped at my ankles suddenly
from the deep reaches of the old house.
But the warmth of almost a century of living
fizzled that out into irrelevance
like the summer sun on a murky morning fog.
And so then to the Graveyard and the old church of Raheen,
I looked down the rolling hills of Laois and
I saw my Nan’s childhood home
where I had just been.
The duskish green hills arced down and then back up
towards the graves, like the curve of a leprechaun shoe.
Farms dotted the core of those lovely Laois lowlands,
which I thought would go on forever.
Departing, I felt something wrench at me, something
from the depths of my silhouette.
This is partly where I’ve come from –
perhaps some answers at last?
I wanted to stay, to find out, but that’s time
doing what it does best, and as it took me home,
past dairy fields and barns and branches tatting windows,
I let it be, for some other wondrous day.