Victoria, British Columbia
Green, dogwood trees, gnarled oaks
driftwood at Oak Bay. I am far
north in winter again where daylight
swiftly evaporates, where morning is
as sodden as the Parliament grass.
I have come to an outpost of empire
to encounter familiar separations
and eat familiar dishes. I remember
your long fingers like sticks in the
stones, your children asleep, my first
view of the Pacific in Mexico when we
lay exhausted and full of songs:
how this ocean makes me want to weep.
I think of the hard air of the prairie
which lurks in each winter maple &
the brilliant light of early morning.
I am soft-skinned, broken-kneed
oar-buried, man-of-war, Irish.
(Copyright Eamonn Wall 1996)