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.