Poems by Brian Kirk (Ireland)
Published in The Ofi Press issue 48
Close the door, but leave the window open
so we can hear the distant shouts
of children, barking dogs, car engines dropping
gear to make a turn. We’ll lie a little longer
while the house is ours alone.
Listen to the tapping of the blind against
the sash and close your eyes,
but leave your heart wide open so I can
whisper things I typically forget to say
like thank you, love you, miss you
even when you’re only hours away. Don’t
be concerned, let engines, dogs and voices
chorus rapture while we sleep.
In some parts of the world before the feasting starts,
before the drinks are poured a libation for the dead
is spilled on arid ground. Some people value those
who came before, but we know better.
Old stories are nothing more than wives’ tales
and when we perish we rot in the ground,
go back to nature in the meanest way.
At funerals the one least present is always
the deceased; we do not see the dead among us,
guiding us, reminding us of who we are
and where we’re from. We eat and drink,
laugh and kiss, lives flavoured by our loss,
all aches and joys endured or relished
in the shadow of a closing door.
Brian Kirk is a poet from Dublin, Ireland. His poetry has been published widely in journals and anthologies. He won the Jonathan Swift Poetry Award in 2014, the Bailieborough Poetry Prize in 2015 and the Galway RCC Poetry Award in 2016. He was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series in 2013 and was highly commended in the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 2014 and 2015. He is a member of the Hibernian Writers Workshop and he blogs at www.briankirkwriter.com
Image: "Beginnings" by Alan L.