Deborah L. Humphreys

knockeven

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faraway hills are blue, sky sits heavy
air the color of lockdown gormglas settles, seeps
into the paps of north clare that feed the hungry
uncomplaining bog, móin bhán. i have waited
for cover to lift, not fall again. i sit
by the corner window, less patient, demanding
the landscape owes me poems in time of jubilee
or millenium. neither am i as generous
as summer days long and full

the returning guest of september slices a few
minutes off at both ends, a little each time
like a block of cheese that must last
the winter. i count how many
days forward and hours back, how much
remains of this month of sundays

i got my bid in early, vowed poverty
long before obedience, like a pre-emptive strike
owning nothing, losing nothing
but disappointment. i am a perpetually professed
borrower. politely, i come looking
for the unreturnable cup of sugar, time
a quiet hut, the skin of trees, and the comfort

of knowing that though the rich have property by deed
blood or accident of history, death makes tenants
of us all. this is the last witness to our equality
i am an at-will tenant, a september time-share
tending my portion at this address: cnóc aoibhinn


10 september 1999