The End Of April

Ian Pople

– in memory of my father 

Finally, at the end of April, when 
afternoon light was strong enough
to show the yellow of dandelions, 

he might have stroked the leaves 
of wild garlic, the thin edges buckling; 
he might have touched the underside 

of butter burr, the soft hooks that live 
out of the light; or ferns, new curlicues 
growing among the grey; he might have 

felt the crisp feathers of the Canada goose 
on the canal, stroked the firm back, pushed 
down a little, expecting the sanguine body 

of the bird to bob back up like a child’s toy 
on bath water. Except that, towards the end, 
having lost the whorls of finger end, 

the knuckle, the bone digit that gripped 
the pen, the stub that was his forefinger 
became too painful to write with; because 

these were fingers that had not escaped, that had 
formed together into a shape through which 
water and sand flowed with equal measure.

Page 26, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 117
Issue 117

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 117:

Edited by Vona Groarke

Issue 117 includes new poems from over twenty five poets from Ireland, the UK, the US and elsewhere, along with three new poems by Michael Longley, one of the UK’s foremost contemporary poets. The issue features reviews of more than twenty new poetry collections, including books by Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Claudia Rankine, Louise Gluck, Eavan Boland, Dennis O’Driscoll and Dermot Healy. Interviews include a feature on photographer, Seamus Murphy, about collaborating with musician and poet PJ Harvey and poet Eliza Griswold on separate publications, as well as an interview with Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis by Colette Bryce. Colour plates include photography by Seamus Murphy and artwork by Niamh Flanagan.