James E. McCormack
What did he seek, my father? What fissure Did he think to stop with that ounce
Of yellow earth, scooped up in his hand, Yellowed itself by sun and cigarettes to The colour of calfskin? I sat on the railway Sleeper, the chill wind of the evening Soothing and stinging my skin, left raw
By the day's heat. 'There's nothing like The ground. Soil's the same the world
Over. It could be your granda's in Lisnaskea.' I knew the naming held more comfort
Than the crumbs of sunbaked dirt he lifted From a council plot in Blantyre that for this Summer evening was Fermanagh and
The broken past. I saw at ten the scrabbling He was left to do after his lost life, but
Not until I heard the cracking of my own Wandered heart could I begin to know
The comfort that we pick from splinters.
Page 70, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 26