Tree Felling At Lissadell
A tree can have many uses, I’ve learned. Winter carves its losses,
. . . . . .layer after layer, fluttering heaven-bound on an abrupt
gust. The air is keening, again. I press mute on my phone.
I take the familiar woodland path. To the right, oyster crates settle
. . . . . .on a receding tide, the Lower Rosses a murmur, shrouded in a veil of fog.
The thinning sun surrenders behind the weight of clouds. A twig snaps underfoot.
The tree-hide looks out over Goose Field. Barnacles flock
. . . . . .here for the black months, a lone wintering finch
opens its wings across the cereal patch. I wait.
Inside, the benches are scrawled with names: Tom declares
. . . . . .his love for Amy, another attempts to shape a heart in Tippex. On
the window-ledge, gouged into the wood skin; CP was here, 21.04.2011.
At dusk, skeins glide in from Inismurray, their V ascending
. . . . . .skyward from a curtain of white mist, three thousand
souls roaming the skies. They depart in April, too.
The latch snaps shut. A photograph, crumpled and fading,
. . . . . .is buried pocket-deep; the boy on a makeshift swing,
fists tight around the length of a rope. I play the voice message.
by Maeve McKenna, first published in Boyne Berries
Editor’s Note: Rich imagery supports and soothes the anxiety of the speaker in this poem, illustrating how our environment can act as a balm even in the midst of grievous, troublesome times.