The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Beth Paulson

Failte Eire

Day late to DUB
we strolled its streets

of booted girls, lads leathered
rejoiced with Joyce

passed PO bullet holes
stalwart statues

bolted the Bar's bangers,
then bridged the Liffey.

What sounds resound for us
what Eire echoes—

city chaff and churchbells
or the quiet Kells?

What sights—the barren Burren
wools at Blarnha

or Wicklow's glacial gap?
Yellow gorse glow

or hedge-edged green fields
gray sheep graze

larches lurched by wind
wet heathered hills?

At Muckross we touched moss
rocks, sucked mussel

broth 'til light clocked
the blue lough. When

music began at Horgan's
we crowded in

to a grand mandolin
fiddle and flute

drank pints for who stayed—Slainte!—
and who emigrate.


Most people would just throw the thing away—
plaid flannel shirt with a three-corner tear

made by accident, moment of carelessness,
haste with a pen or run-in with a nail—

the shirt your husband wore you loved to touch
of soft Peruvian cotton, well-made and favored.

So you try to save what can be saved—
clothing, old houses, friendships, even a marriage.

With a fine needle and same-color threads
you carefully pick up and weave what's new

into what frayed, what's come undone.
Plying in and out with green and blue

you pull each small stitch firm but not too tight—
to repair a hole in anything

takes patience and desire to make it right.
Sometimes people throw what's good away.

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