From “The Ghosts of Barnacullia”

October and the rain is warm
the light moving across the water’s surface

is there and not there
like a voice you remember

say your mother’s
youthful as once she was

on a day like this
embracing the sunshine breaking through

or watching it trace
between her fingertips so real

you can almost believe again in the silence
between you, her breath on your cheek

while you lay ill in bed
and in only a moment

a bell is ringing or your father
is singing in the kitchen about strangers

and without even an echo or the echo
of an echo all of this is gone and

we’re walking again to the Hellfire Club
or the Sugar Loaf, it’s Sunday

there’s not much traffic, and on the hills
as you run twigs, and small black pellets

are vanishing beneath your feet

More Poems by Paul Perry