Ó Éirinn

by John Blackmore

I remember her voice, soft as water,
Precipitating down on coddled heaps,
And armfuls of shawl,
Permeating skin and blood and bone
Where something still resonates within.

There was music in her words,
For they danced in jigs and reels
On an English tongue that could recall
Just enough to say her prayers.

The stress and intonation swept back
As distant as Hibernia,
To hills and loughs, to rills and creels,
Language starved mouths and countless silent tears.
She was always theirs
But we clung to her.