“And then the sun”


And then the sun came slicing sideways,
clear water reflecting it, giving it slant.
A gloss of rain so quick and light that day

hardly made a sound. The thought of sheets
hung out and drying on the line, of seeds
in soil and soil itself, the glutting ends

of stems of leaves that will them to let fall
up and out and through the trees, the shape
that shoots could take, of you

and this moment as it happens:
our echoing hush as we try to hold
the close music of the blackbird in the bush.

And then the sun continued on.
Lough Neagh cooled under the firm keels
of fishing boats on the water’s taut skin,

their painted hulls in pointed arcs
an emblem of balance so finely wrought
that they could tell the weight of light or air.

Each night we walk along the shore,
expecting still to find your sturdy figure
waist-deep in waders, plumbing darkness,

hauling it in, but never again your grip
on the reel and never again the deft music
of the blackbird nesting in your hand.
More Poems by Stephen Connolly