A JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY IRISH & IRISH AMERICAN AFFAIRS 
Summer 2019 / VOL. 19 ISSUE 2

This Issue's Poem

Visiting Over the Water

(Over the Water, Caherciveen, Co. Kerry)

 “What is that?” I ask

What are these?

I want to know their name

Make them familiar to me

 

The birds dip and flutter

Their colors and songs new

A few seem to ring a bell

Almost Midwestern but somehow askew

 

The yellow flowers sway

The fields dotted with plants

Spiders crawl and flies zip

The winds make the rushes dance

 

Bluebells, cowslip, furze, snowdrop

Blackbird, swallow, wren, magpie

They cover the ditches, lanes and fields

They populate the trees and sky

 

I want to know their names

To learn something more

Make them my own in my new home

List them off when I look out the door

 

Sanderling, goldcrest, corncrake, thrush

Foxglove, bog cotton, dock leaf, nettle

Their names as sweet as their song

Their names as sweet as their smell

 

I want to know the bird

Whose song wakes me at half four

I want to know the insect

That scurries across the cottage floor

 

Alone in the cemetery the songs are quiet

No sound of bird song, buzzing wings, or wave

I want to know which blossoms I picked

And laid on my great-grandparents’ grave.

‚Äč

- By Brigid Flaherty

Brigid Flaherty

Brigid Flaherty is currently finishing her education at Loras College in Dubuque, Ia., and will graduate in spring, 2020. During her second year at Loras, Brigid studied and interned in Ireland for five months, traveling the country with her family and friends.

 

Once she returned to the United States, poetry became a creative outlet for her experiences.) abroad. Her majors are both in history and secondary education, with minors in Irish Studies as well as International Studies. After graduation, Brigid plans on settling in Ireland where she hopes to not only work, but spend time with family and friends as she continues to write.

 

This publication is her first, though this poem won the Donn Goodwin Prize for poetry at Milwaukee Irish Fest in 2019.   Her hometown is Peoria, Ill. Both sides of her family are Irish, so she grew up in a house full of Irish songs and CDs, Irish dance, and am learning the Irish language.)

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