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Image by Анастасия


the madrigal, volume v


by mairéad o'sullivan

My friend of 15 years and I
to walk
in Kells Garden, South Kerry.
Her daughter has come
to collect
pinecones she calls acorns,
to gather
in pocket and hood
to count
on kitchen table.


to talk
girl’s day out,
to swap wedding plans,
who’s moving home,
who’s moving away.


To wander
ladies’ garden, which means
to grow
primaeval forest, which means
to plant
dinosaur trail
, which means

to carve
teeth and scale
on old tree.


To cross
rope bridge
, which means

to dream
to join
the air
between two points.


I stop
Nowhere. Everywhere.
Existing. Effortless.


No girl, no lady.
I stand
between two banks,
between the riverbed and sky,


I did not craft the bridge,
but nor can I just walk across.
It is my work, I feel,
to feel, what is
to float.

Mairéad lives in Killarney, Co. Kerry. She studied Anthropology at Maynooth University. Her poem 'Graveside Rain. May 2021' appeared in the anthology 'Local Wonders' (Dedalus Press, 2021).

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