Friday, June 1, 1984

AFTER CÚNLA



What is left of me?
Don't take the thighs of me,
Only take the bones of me. . .
Only bones, says Cúnla.
—from an Irish song


Spavin and shankle the moss
to the north sides of the oaks
so we won't get lost.
A bridge of light sways
beneath a canopy of trees.
a path, a lantern for Diogenes
blossoms beneath our feet.
Who is counting the bones
among these fallen years?
Who is counting the bones?

And the piny woods whisper
among the dead
and the dead are whispering
among the piny woods.
Can you not hear them?
They listen to the rhythm of your bones.
It keeps them still on this earth.

Beat the bodhrán slowly.
Knuckle bone, thigh.
Play the all songs
to show them the way home.

Can you not hear the bones of me?
Can you not feel the hands of me
as we crawl barefoot through the snow
towards Savannah?
Only bones, says Cúnla.


6/84

Trail of Tears


I tried to revise and expand this 11/92.

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