All of Them
Do whatever kind of cartwheel you want –
or, yes, run up the field. You’ll be long enough at it,
putting your father’s heart in his mouth and
your mother’s hand to her chest.
You plod out to inspect this brand-new field, all two feet of you,
in south Roscommon. You have no time for mammy, weren’t you
meeting the relations, sussing them out before you did their hair –
God knows there was hair outside of Spiddal that needed doing.
But when the call goes out across the yard you are still well
and able to give out stink. Not yet! equal to all of five minutes.
Bye-bye waves from the window and away from the farm,
you head back west, beating the sun and going to sleep.
But still, your head is full of the need for telling parents,
grandparents, aunts, uncles, that English lady in the queue
in Lidl, anyone with or without ears, that you just romp up
to tell them in your matter of fact
I saw the sheep! Well, that is just wonderful.
Tell me this, Síne, how many did you see?
PAUL MCCARRICK has been published with Crannóg, The Stinging Fly,
and Poetry Ireland Review. He was selected for the 2019 Poetry Ireland
Introductions Series. He is completing his first collection.