OF IRISH PEATLANDS
By Theresa Le Flem
Beloved strange land
speak to me in your mother tongue
of the bracken history crackle dry
where the faintest spark from steel-tipped boots
could set a flame to start
Where eyes shine in the ever-dark
tell me the stories that grow thick as trees
In this undercover your sisters and brothers,
bones bark and ashes compress black in ditches
and bog lands all wet sliced, like cheeses.
These sticky black molasses hills
Have hands that reach and catch
And trap up to the neck.
in your mother-tongue forgive me please
Your hunger’s ceased
and you, your wedges cut
Stacked-up for drying in the sun
So tell me
when will all this anger, slow to burn, be over
or will it ever end?
If stones are bread and soil is fuel,
if water is wine,
Then wine, my friend, is blood.