each of these old fenceposts
from weathered boughs and
wormy ridges, shreds of bark still visible)
pulses with a life that lies outside our
their varicose veins and dried grain lines,
old-timers know how to stand up
weather swaggers off the Atlantic or
the holy nose of Croagh Patrick to ruffle
grasses with no backbone which seem
agreeable, like polite, forbearing men
bar of rowdies. Driven nails, spancels
wire, rust collars or iron braces-the fenceposts
their grip on these and hang on, perfecting
art and craft of saying next to nothing
the rain keeps coming down, the chapping wind
them, and the merciless sun
stares and stares: yearly the shore is eaten
dangle by a thread until salvaged
again in the open field, which they bring
order of sorts, showing us how to be at home
in adversity, and weather it.
New & Selected Poems by Eamon
1998) Graywolf Press. Used with permission.
Highland Cemetery fenceposts by Dan Hardy.
Used with permission.
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