S.M. Kingston
Once an in-between girl
stepped into a narrow box
and told a man through 
a wooden grille something 
about herself. She was unsure 
what she was saying – things
were changing – yet knew
she must be truthful
if this was to work,
if she were to emerge,
as before, fragrant with
forgiveness and prayer.
That day she forgot
the prayers and missed 
her step as she left the box
to move from the church
into light so bright it pierced 
her eyes. She almost 
didn’t recognise where she 
was or who she was, 
tramping home in the glaring 
sun, wearing the dark indelible
blaze of words hissed back
through the grille.
“The old men of the street
wouldn’t spit on you.”
Page 94, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 124
Issue 124

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 124:

Edited by Eavan Boland

Poetry Ireland Review 124 contains new poems from Paula Meehan, Ciarán O'Rourke, Lizzy Nichols, Mark Ward, Gabriel Rosenstock, Özgecan Kesici, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and many other compelling voices. Also included is Eilean Ni Chuilleanáin's remembrance of her Cork childhood, excerpted from The Vibrant House: Irish Writing and Domestic Space, a book of essays reviewed in issue 124 by Caitríona O'Reilly. Other books considered in this issue include collections from Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Mark Granier, Tara Bergin, The Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets, and the Collected Poems of the late Dennis O'Driscoll, and there's also a short interview with Thomas Kinsella along with an essay on Kinsella as poet and civil servant. Another Kinsella is this issue’s Featured Poet, Alice Kinsella, and all artwork for the issue is supplied by artists associated with the Olivier Cornet Gallery on Great Denmark Street, around the corner from Poetry Ireland.

Available now to purchase online or in all good bookstores.