1. Home
  2. Poetry Magazine
  3. Poems
  4. Rakestreet by Harry Clifton
Rakestreet

Related Poem Content Details

Would you believe it, I got lost again   
And all roads led to Rakestreet. Which was which,   
The short road or the long? A girl of ten   
Behind her counter, drew me a thumbnail sketch   

Of space in time. The Big House was, she said,   
Five minutes away, or seven hundred years.   
Nephin, nebulous in its hat of cloud,   
A reference point. I would never get out of here   

Unless I fell in love with my condition—   
Rakestreet, with its boy behind the bar,   
Its sweatshop, and its permanent television   
In the background, rumbling from afar   

Of war and worldly sex, greed and ambition,   
While the dead slept under lichened stone   
Behind Kilmurry chapel. Older than religion,   
Older than history, this quiet need to atone   

By staying local, once at the very least,   
For an hour, a day, a lifetime. Marry the girl,   
Buy up the stock, become one with the deceased—   
Let Crossmolina and the Big House world   

Be damned to its own eternity, Lough Conn   
Forever signaled, never come upon,   
Lose itself, like the reason I came   
In the first place, and my aboriginal name.

Source: Poetry (March 2009)

More from this issue

This poem originally appeared in the March 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

Rakestreet

Related Poem Content Details

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

Other Information