What the tide left behind;
barnacles and whale songs,
and a few of the best parts
of my father.
Dún Laoghaire is a stone
lifeboat that rises and falls,
but it’s a long town
for little legs,
so we made a giant
(you only get lighter)
and we made a slow-witted bear,
and we ran in the spray
as the shore gently sank.
Dún Laoghaire is a sand
castle, but the sea
doesn’t scare you.
As it washes away at your feet,
lighter and lighter you become.
As five swans, together, lift their weight,
With no little effort, toward the sky,
My eye, yet falls, admiring, nearer ground,
Where, on a branch that overhangs the lake,
Not starting at the egret’s cry,
She, unlocking not a sound,
Who hunting over-long would drown,
Reaches out her drenched wings to dry.
A grebe, unseen, submerged, passes near-by,
And on the shore mill pheasants, sheep and rabbits,
But clothed in nature’s charcoal-aged habit,
She busies not herself, but sits to dry.
And so a long in-breath becomes a sigh,
Cutting through all wandering, worried thoughts,
Just to watch her perch upon the over-hanging stalk,
And reach out her drenched wings, to dry.
Image: Cormorant by Sonja Molina, Instagram @sonlune