Walking Home

The smell of wild garlic in the woods
overlooking the beach is a reminder
I haven’t eaten in days. I fail in the smallest
of ways, it’s my life’s work.

A fallen tree, bark shrivelled, how skin
is useful over bone yet once detached
from its support, loses purpose.

I imagine a boneless body, slab of flesh,
a jellyfish’s absent heart, eyes. But here is brain
to contend with, here is memory.

The sea is a distant relative, one
who visits when your mother dies
leaving the uncertainty you loved your parents.

There are no answers to some questions.
I have attempted to enter the asking, tried
to locate the seabed, name it an unfamiliar cousin,

someone I won’t grow attached to,
so when I am here, outside this human cover
where everything is low,
I might walk into it and call it Home.

Maeve McKenna lives in rural Sligo, Ireland. Her work has been placed in several international poetry competitions and published widely in print and online. Maeve was a finalist in the Eavan Boland Mentorship Award 2020, third in Canterbury Poet of The Year 2021 and a Pushcart nominee 2022. She has work forthcoming in Banshee and The Stony Thursday Book. A collaborative book with three poets, How Bright the Wings Drive Us, won the Dreich Alliance pamphlet competition and was published in October, 2021. Maeve’s debut pamphlet, A Dedication to Drowning, was published in February 2022 by Fly on The Wall Press.

Image: James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Harmony in blue and silver: Trouville (1865) Source: Wikimedia Commons


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