Those April Fevers

Someone said I would uncover pieces of amber

from long-dead trees on this Baltic shoreline.

Day by day, I leave the cottage, walk the sands

to a headland village.


Nobody understands

what I mean when I mention amber, their minds

engrossed by hazel branches hung

with painted eggs, catkins; or hyacinths in bowls.

The time for hyacinths is long gone, I tell them.

I am in need of something that has survived

more than winter, hardening to translucent gold,

enclosing - perhaps - one small seed,

to honour the month and the Easter I was conceived.

I have grown five decades, like aeons,

and my tears have surely become like amber,

enriched and smooth, taking tawny colours

for blood.

Next week I will be casual

about the search, will uncover nuggets

beneath tree fragments,

inhaling salt and resin as I turn freely

from eggs, catkins, those April fevers.

Mary O’Donnell’s new book of poems, Those April Fevers, will be from Arc Publications

Mary O'Donnell

Mary O'Donnell, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a novelist, poet and short-story writer