Too Much Bread
Sometimes I’m sick of celebrating
that I’m still around. I feel sort of stretched,
as Bilbo says, like butter scraped
over too much bread. Remember the hobbits
lorrying into cream and butter and honey?
For Tolkien luxury was butter,
yellow on white bread, thick
enough for teeth to leave prints. I dream
of butter too, smeared over chicken,
peppered, dotted with thyme. Dairy
is written into the Irish genome—
we digest it better than anyone else. Wealth
was butter, the cow at the hearthside,
her burps keeping us warm, her milk
filling our gullets. The bards imagined
rich men lived in houses made of butter,
parsley butter roofs, wild-garlic butter walls.
Tolkien would understand. I’m sick
of at leasts: at least I can still read,
at least I can play with the cat, at least
I can be driven to the sea and look at it.
I want plenty, a plethora, a big dish
of colcannon with a river of butter
running through the centre.
ROSAMUND TAYLOR’s debut collection, In Her Jaws (Banshee Press 2022), was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Poetry Prize for a First Collection and the Yeats Society Poetry Prize. She lives in Dublin with her wife.