Lourdes, 1955

(Bouts-rimes – after Seamus Heaney)

The details of where they stayed, the places
Of pilgrimage, petition, the wet touch
Of Lourdes soaking to her skin, the hutch
Where they waited out the rain, these mysteries
Still possible, still unknown—sixty years ago.
The cancer in her breast felt hard as stone.
Outside the shrine, the fields were full of grain,
And he wrote this diary so their sons would know.

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On the long trip home they stopped in Glanmore
Where no miracles are known. Farmers raise
Sheep white as light, and the old men, like chanters,
Talk them through the shearing, talking to appease.
They stood for a while on the open ground,
The sheep, like silent clouds, gathering round.

Farmers raise/ Sheep white as light, and the old men, like chanters,/ Talk them through the shearing, talking to appease.

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