The Skylight

Seamus Heaney

You were the one for skylights, I opposed Cutting into the seasoned tongue-and-groove Of pitch pine. I liked it low and closed,
Its claustrophobic, nest-up-in-the-roof
Effect, I liked the snuff-dry feeling,
The perfect, trunk-lid fit of the old ceiling. Under there, it was all hutch and hatch,
The blue slates kept the heat like midnight thatch.

But when the slates came off, extravagant Sky entered and held surprise wide open, For days I felt like an inhabitant
Of that house where the man sick of the palsy
Was lowered through the roof, had his sins forgiven, Was healed, took up his bed and walked away.

Page 3, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 29