Poem of the Week: Home

A new work by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin. Photograph: Eric Luke
Somebody has a perfect garden, stretching
gently uphill to a high stone wall.
Where the box hedge finishes, near the basement windows,
the grass is closely mown. The daisies
have shut up for the night. A servant girl appears —
it should be time for her dinner, but
she waits outside as the light fades, watching
the light in a first-floor window. When it goes out
she sighs and heads back indoors.
In the big study
a man stares at a letter written
in a language he can’t understand, although
he knows the script is archaic.
He wonders again, would it be safe
to ask the schoolmaster what it all means,
although he guesses well enough
what the writer intended him to know.

Today’s poem is from Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s new collection, The Map of the World (The Gallery Press)