To a Child in the Womb

Michael O’Loughlin

Little Brendan, snug in your coracle
you are right to be sailing west
to surrender your tonsured head
to the wave's harsh lick.

Your clerks have copied our manuscripts
in every one of your cells
decorated with birds and beasts
such as you'll see in the New World.

Here in the old country
the Dark Ages are always beginning
and the light that was in Troy
falls on empty motorways.

We are standing on the shore
our feet sinking into the earth.
We raise our hands to bid farewell
to catch you when you fall

over the world's edge.

Page 96, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 26