The Lovers in Wartime


We lock the door and turn the lights down low,

pull down the shade and veil the world outside,

as if that might protect us from the slow

but creeping certainty, the scarlet tide

that washes us in guilt no one can bear,

and so we keep our distance, half the globe.

The ones who shout the loudest say they care,

the silent ones - the lovers -will not probe

the words of leaders for the core of truth

we know does not exist. We have our love,

we have no choice - as summer chooses youth

so we embrace the blindness, rise above

the unreality of distant war,

we are in love, we do not ask what for.

Brian Kirk was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions series in 2013 and shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 2014 for his collection After the Fall