Perhaps it's a little consolation that the village
by Seamus Hogan
Lays a carpet of whispers as you are led into
Church on Sundays. That they look towards your pew
at an angle and grab a glimpse of their lives
In the blankness as though it were a mirror.
When you hear those prayers for the sick through
The nave of the priest's hands, who do you see?
Or hear? Last winter's ice underfoot
On the way to the cowhouse, or some October's
Apple falling. Which will not splinter or fall
Through your eyes again.
Once, thinking you were alone, you shuddered.
Then, like transparent fruit, two tears were shook
Free from your pain's branch. A sob, too much
In your hands already, shattered the silence
And cracks raced to my shore of vision
Exposing a torrent of helplessness.
Sometimes when I chase a last pea around the plate
Or say 'That girl is really pretty'
I feel as if I've opened a letter
That isn't for me.