Ireland, a Half-thing

By Adam Martin

What is Ireland if not a half-thing? 
I cannot read from a book that has been burned to ash, or learn
with a tongue scrubbed clean of its mother, nor retrace the steps
of those feather-bodies, too light to leave an impression.

Instead, mourn the stories and songs lost in that icy blue that bit the limbs
from fleeing hordes, those locked in the rotting windpipes of ancestors
now sealed in a bog land tomb, and those scattered on Connemara winds,
waltzing amongst the screams of banshees, the cries of ghosts. 

What are we then if not half-things too?
Maybe, being Irish is being half-certain, half-knowing, half-formed, 
and searching for lost pieces of a people’s soul tactically maimed, 
staring into puddles, finding nothing but swirling inky questions,
 reaching in and feeling that something is missing. Long-gone.

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