February 6, 2023

Hall of the Red Earl

The camera seizes moments we’ll try to bring back home: 
                oiled pools in a cobbled alley, storefronts painted lively blue 

and yellow, an abandoned window lost in ropes of ivy, 
                and thirteenth century rubble unearthed by new construction 

and glassed-in for our view, beneath this modern city
                rising around medieval walls.  The air is rich with stone and salt.  

From a sports bar, human voices, and in 4/4 time, the ache of a 
                roving fiddle tune.  What we carry with us—joy and ragged sorrow—

takes on different shapes in this unfamiliar place, in varying patterns
                of light, while the river rushes too fast, under gray stone bridges,

joined by roiling tributaries, pouring past rusted spillways,
                a spume-lashed turmoil, out to Galway Bay—

wild to meld, to join that horizon of cloud-ribbed sky.