The Song Map
Late at night, we hear folks sing of women, a weile weile waile,
of jailed me demented with the jingle jangle of an auld triangle.
Da belts out his dream of Joe Hill. Ma keens over The Foggy Dew.
We learn the song map of our island via landmarks of mangled hearts.
Intown: On Raglan Road; out the country: Down by the Sally Gardens.
Lovely bockety words, feral jigs and lonely airs haunt our heads.
We are lulled, fall asleep, top-and-tail siblings in a rickety bunk bed.
Flight Paths Over Finglas
that much heed
to planes, those jet streams
toing & froing at Dublin Airport.
Da taught us to keep nix, watch birds
for their covert flight paths on warm shafts
of seasonal winds and late daylight over Finglas.
The cuckoo, Hera’s bird, announced each late spring.
Swifts scudded, courted above the Tolka’s root-ivy summer.
Corncrakes in Darcy’s side-garden scurried and secreted autumn.
Out at Dollymount, the Brent geese wing-spanned an ivory wintertime.
The finches’ rise and fall – their hard flap, all that graft for a long easy glide.
We learned the most from the home place’s birds. Our old feathered banner: the ravens.
How they mastered gravity vectors, omnivore feeding, prey-dodging and cloud-top scaling.
They could sense a shift in a skyscape or how a brattling rainstorm may wreck the memory map
back to the hatchling, nestling, fledgling grounds. Our ravens always returning to that magnetic place.
We heard wingbeats. Gazed up. Ravens flocked. Their sudden soaring over our estate, out beyond Finglas.
We wanna walk grass trails.
I long for me wear
in a rare Dublin field.
Come here ’til I show you,
few know about this place.
I guide you to the remnants
of our local ring fort –
a mound of grass, vetch, fern,
sticky-backs and closed buttercups.
Oak trees silhouetted in streetlight,
we’re hidden and kiss like mad things.
Your tongue, our hungry mouths,
feel as gorgeous as naked plums.
You know what I’m like
and you know what I’m after.
You lift me up, skyward,
spin me and make me dizzy.
The phone pings us back
to real time in Raheny.
Our babysitter’s on the clock
and tomorrow there’s school.
Home to check on our two sons,
asleep in the one bed.
You load up the dishwasher.
I sweep the kitchen floor.
A late gloaming, we check
the windows and lock doors.
Outside, the garden darkens. Grows.
We go to bed and don’t sleep.
All poems © copyright Rachael Hegarty 2017