Emma McKervey

Beyond the Mussel Banks

Emma McKervey

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On the Lough’s shore it is possible to find partially knapped flints,

rejected as arrow heads when the line of fracture

was not right -a misjudged  strike by the knapping stone.

The chippings have been ground to sand by the tides,

lost as varying shades of grit compress  in the damp,

unnoticed when trailing across the beach by the tideline -

picking a path carefully in May to avoid the ragworm’s

death throes above their hidden eggs, and in August

when the lea shimmers with dissolving corpses of jellyfish.

There is no liberty found here mixed with splinters of shells

and rotting sea brack, the soft parts of dying things

and the broken fragments of what was intended to fly -

but beyond the mussel banks I have ridden the wake

 of the ferries, astride the prow of my Uncle’s  boat

shoulders untensed and neck unbowed in the lash of the brine

where, from the rooftop of each wave, my cry was untamed.


Emma McKervey


Emma McKervey's work has recently been published in The Galway Review, The Incubator and Abridged, as well as being included in a range of other magazines and anthologies.

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