Border

So, this is the border,
marked by air and bitterness,
grass no greener beyond the invisible boundary.
And this dead tree could be anywhere,
where new life clings to the ring time solidity of history,
and the sins of the fathers are resurrected again.

The only borders are in the mindset of the man
who planted and fenced these feeble wind scoured attempts
to make a reality out of a dull imagination.

And the woman
who doodled on the map of Ireland
as she tried to impose a Franciscan peace
she had only read on the dried up pages of prayer books
patronising her heart wise adversaries
as she rode her blindfold horse
in the miry lanes
of a thousand years of stories.

And the child
trained to look
with the eyes of tree stump prejudice
on the saplings
in the field
on the bleak horizon.

The sap rising,
grows the borderland of the heart,
while the earth absorbs the pain
of passing men and guns
and creates the bog that soldiers grow old in.

Layers of rotting memory preserve fears and replays,
time locked and unchanging,
in the peaty mire of unprocessed seasons.
Return journeys and photographs dig and stack the turf,
disclose and reveal
concealed acid pitted resentments,
quite unlike the bog oak,
carved and sold to tourists.

 

Deirdre McGarry


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