My Father, Long Dead


My father, long dead,
has become air

Become scent
of pipe smoke, of turf smoke, of resin

Become light
and shade on the river

Become foxglove,
buttercup, tree bark

Become corncrake
lost from the meadow

Become silence,
places of calm

Become badger at dusk,
deer in the thicket

Become grass
on the road to the castle

Become mist
on the turret

Become dark-haired hero in a story
written by a dark-haired child

Eileen Sheehan: lives in Killarney, Co Kerry. Her collections are Song of the Midnight Fox and Down the Sunlit Hall , published by Doghouse Books. She has worked as poet in residence with Limerick County Council arts office.