A Poem by Vona Groarke



Of course it’s raining when I push the gate

that doesn’t want to yield on this rood of grey:

stone markers, stone wall, a leaden sky, graves

that were maybe neat one time and prayed at

but, decades on from the last burial, have lost

whatever certainty they had to slump and moss.

Headstones’ mildewed names, exhausted dates

commemorate now one thing: how to forget.


Someone in my line is buried somewhere here.

Her legacy: three entries in a parish register

and a scattered bloodline, scattering her name.

Anne Walsh. My mother’s great-grandmother.

Gone. I pull the gates behind, free as ever I was

to find in an unfound past a tether, an excuse.

About the contributor

Vona Groarke
Leading Irish poet Vona Groarke has published seven collections of poetry with The Gallery Press (and by Wake Forest University Press in the United States) including: Juniper Street (2006), Spindrift (2009) and X (2014). She is a member of Aosdána.

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