17 April 2011

Ancestor Worship

Day 17 of the PAD Challenge. Prompt: A "big picture" poem.

we leap from the shoulders of those
who came before

names, in black/white, black/white
each thin column a multitude of
multitudes, towering babel

St. George, Perserverence, Alhambra,
Junius, Stephen Whitney

Sarah Mitchelson, James Morrison, Mary
Flynn, Ann Doyle, Bridget Cullen,
Michael Costello, Patrick Maguire....
(Ireland, country to which they belong,
United States, country they intend to inhabit.)

so many more
leaving one shore for another

where know-nothing copperplate script protests
for "the amplest protection to
Protestant Interests" and
No Irish Need Apply

built up from stone streets, the
ward boss and his nightingale,
the bricklayer and the
cook, the ironworker reaching,
always, for the heavens

for them set out the bread,
thickly buttered, tea,
lamb cutlets, uisce
beatha and pipes of
fine tobacco


R.H. Carew said...

i simply ADORE this. i know that feeling.

MaryAnn McCarra-Fitzpatrick said...

Many thanks for your comment....it is appreciated!


Greta said...

MaryAnn I love everything you write. So touching and open. Full to the brim with feeling. That is what poetry is all about placing your most intimate self on paper and not being afraid to look at it.