12 July 2017


When we start breaking up in the wet darkness
And the rotten boards fall from us, and the ribs
Crack under the constriction of tree roots
And the seasons slip from the fields unknown to us,

Oh, then there will be the querulous complaining
From citizens who had never dreamt of this -
Who, shaken to the bone in their stout boxes
By the latest bright cars, will not inspect them

And, kept awake by the tremors of new building,
Will not be there to comment. When the broken
Wreath bowls are speckled with rain water
And the grass grows wild for want of a caretaker

Oh, then a few will remember with affection
Dry bread, mousetrap cheese and the satisfaction
Of picking long butts from a wet gutter
Like daisies from a clover field in summer.

-  Derek Mahon

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