Folk Memory of Famine

Soulful poetry, by Stephen McGuinness

Writing from poetry with a small p.

To draw sustenance
from barren ground,
pull from it, life
along with the stones.
To sink and turn
an age worn spade
into another man’s land,
pay for breaking through
the crust of his earth,
reach soft soil beneath,
that our children may yet survive
to find fungal rot in our hearts.
Despair in our souls,
death in our ditches.
Dig a hole.
Seal doors.
Board windows.
Gather children close.
Place hands across
the mouths of wives.
Stifle, deafen screams.
Ignore dreams of salvation.
Wait, hope for relief in death,
close eyes in mockery of sleep.
Know that to die
will be easier
than the struggle
to survive.
It is in the passing down,
father to son,
in the division
of sod from soil.
In the movement
of daughters from
mother to husband.
Life and death in birth.
In the tick
of a non existent clock.
Flexed time that wraps

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