After the One O’Clock News

March 17, 2014

It would take very little, wouldn’t it,

to take that horse in the field across the road—

that mare not wayward at all but tranquil

in the wind-wavering domesticity

of grass, her flank, quartz-white,

nuzzled by her coffee-coloured foal, the two

deftly, attentively grooming each other—

take so little in the shape of a blunt gun

or even a wayward missile

landing near my neighbour’s shed

to take the two of them, mother and child,

to the end and way beyond the end

of their invisible tether, remove them

from the loop of daily life in a flash

of hot light, a thundercrash, a blood-sodden

thick pink mist and then nothing, nothing

but the riven peace of Letter Hill

echoing what happened, and a drift of

blueblack smoke curling on the cool breeze

across this roof I’ve tucked myself under,

and floating off over the bay of Ballinakill,

to be sighted near Derryinver pier

as an indecipherable sign of something

seen from far out at sea, or from the cosy homesteads

of Achill, Inishturk, or Inishbofin?