Joan Houlihan

September 18, 2012


LIT LEAF AND ONE cast shade
on another as day strove, rain-sunk.
Ours dead stood out against the sky
not knowing they had died.

New-kill, feathered and furred,
bowls of blood and milk, spilled drip-
downs of a she-goat far from hers warm.
Lifted, held high by the us,
Ay am put to the rock-hole to speak:
Go back to the dirt, go back.
And the dead heard this and went into the earth.

Then from Braes hands, some still-held buds
dropt onto altar-stone. He stood as a shook torch
burning to tell: many were here, and gone.

At evening, when ours most are lost,
Ay see them stand along the hill,
gathered and alike.

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