Lorna Shaughnessy

Walking the Bog Road

It came to her that happiness would feel like a lark
rising from the pit of her stomach to her head
to explode in a song only she would recognise.

That her heart was a walled garden
tended by gardeners called Prudence, Constance and Faith,
but her life bore a closer resemblance to a hilltop bog
and the people in it, eggs laid by song-birds on the ground,
invisible to the human eye yet utterly exposed.

That relationships were all about picking steps
across that bog without disturbing any nests,
and the possibility of joy somehow hung
on an intimacy with frailty
only known in wildness;

like the lark’s eggs, it was something
that could not be grasped, something
perpetually to be hatched.

From Witness Trees (Salmon, 2011)

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