This Weeks Poetry to Inspire: Emigration Song

I recently took a create date in County Wexford, the corner of Ireland where I was born and raised, and the place that I find more creatively inspiring than anywhere else in the world. It gave me this poem about emigration.

It was one of those poems that told me something about myself (and about emigration) that I didn’t know.

The psychologists tell us that it is what we don’t know that so often leads us astray.

I feel better for knowing what this poem came to tell me.

Emigration Song

Moonlight over Slade Harbour,

in the county of my childhood

the annual trip back

to where I can no longer live.

 

A low tide, a high moon, sea

smelted in silver. On the beach

four stranded boats

awaiting the waves' return.

 

Something in their marooning

draws a gasp from me,

unaccountably.

Then tears,

as if from nowhere,

come. Memory unlocked.

The pull of home.

The pity of it all.

 

We had to go, I know, I know.

The grounded boats agree.

Under their consoling gaze

and the regarding moon

I cry for what went unmourned.

 

And then for what's been

revealed in the illuminated sea.

We were not forsaken. No.

Only dry-docked awhile,

in our sorrow forgetting

the tides’ inevitable return.


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