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Prayer For Elizabeth
(15/07/56 / Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, Eire.)

Prayer For Elizabeth

In the morning
of my memory

you bake
apple pies.

And grow very tired


and sit very still

and sit very silent

as the camera
undresses reality

leaves you
alone

sculpted sunlight

naked as a

lonely as a

photograph.

In the evening
of my memory

the touch of
your hand asks:

'Donall? '

The cradle of my arm
answers:

'Yes, Elizabeth? '

And although nothing is
said:

the fire's glow

nods & knows

the quiet secrets
we share

between us.

In the night
time of my memory

now when darkness
sees you

(again a little girl)

hear you tell

how you thought

every woman
dressed in black

on the white ribbons
of distant roads

was your Mammy
walking towards you

though she had gone
and never come back

(the grownups mentioned Heaven)

from the Spring sunlight
and the white white clothes
drying on the currant bushes

(her heart stopped its beating
your heart skipped a beat)

and the rope fell from
your hand

and the game was left
unplayed

and everyone forgot about
the white white clothes

and...they rotted on
the currant bushes.

Now in the night
time of my memory

when I long to touch
your hand

(and my heart
misses you)

and the fire smiles
upon my face

and the shadows
fall upon

the empty chair

then thought
becomes you

and you
become a memory

and your memory

becomes my prayer.

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