Linda McKenna

At Rest

Linda McKenna

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Glacial Erratics may have travelled from as long ago as 10,000 years and be deposited as far away as 500 kilometres from their original source.


What’s home but respite from travel,

what’s permanence but the long wait


for a new god to uproot you as easily 

as weeds from wet clay, entrain you


in ice, this one more silver than the last,

smelling faintly of cypress; carry you


on a journey that might be a thousand

years, or mere minutes, cast you down


by a sea, waiting for a landscape to frame

and shield. It’s never salt enough to heal


nicks of flint, thumps of basalt; one day

swords are sharpened, the next, a fan


of black crepe shields a woman hoisting

her skirts to climb and chip, pass down


thin, iridescent wafers, full of secrets

she means to probe, the scars from lands


unknown, the roots of the time before

nothing, the finger marks of a creator.


Linda McKenna


Linda McKenna’s debut poetry collection, In the Museum of Misremembered Things, was published by Doire Press in 2020. The title poem won the An Post/Irish Book Awards Poem of the Year in 2021. She has had poems published or forthcoming in, among others, Poetry Ireland Review, Banshee, The North, The Honest Ulsterman, Crannóg, Acumen, Atrium, One, The Stony Thursday Book, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Abridged, Skylight 47, The High Window, Raceme, The Poetry Bus. She lives in Downpatrick, County Down and is working on her second collection.