These days I write elegies and read the Metaphysicals.
And when I turn the radio on
prefer to hear a pennywhistle playing “Purple Heather.”
In all weathers I wander back to parishes
where I feel nostalgia for the doughnut shop
and the junkyard where things were given a second chance.

It was there that I spent a childhood listening to bells,
their long laments, their song-in-the-air
on Pentecost in praise of love divine,
their rowdy chimes as they jumped from one year to the next.

That was the simpler time of jotters and pencils,
before the awkward questions.
I was under the protection of the saints: Anthony, Jude, Therese
whose feet I warmed with votive candle flames.

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