Carry on without me.
I have decided to stay nineteen.
I’ll send you postcards
to the future saying: wish you were here.
Just oil my skin with lemon verbena and douse me
in a mountain stream. Lather me in milkwort—
soap of the fairies—and suspend me
in an overnight cluster on the threshold of your dreams.
It is midsummer’s eve and I am a leannán sí—
a time warrior in constant solstice armed
with a purple quiver-full of knapweed
to joust every minute of creeping darkness.
Mischievous fairy mistress
I’ll take mortal lovers whenever I please
perhaps even choose to be a poet’s muse
and lounge naked in his sonnets sipping Chianti.
Some day when you’re stalled at traffic lights
on Lavitt’s Quay you will think you see me
in the rear view mirror roller skating
over Christy Ring Bridge
hear my Galway tones dance a slow set
down Shandon Street from the bells
of the red and white pepper pot
see my face in a winking swan on The Lough—
they mate for life you know.
You might even catch snatches of the bright
orange patches in my jeans whizzing downhill
on the crossbar of somebody else’s bicycle
my whole life giggling ahead of me.
(First published in 'Communion' by Walleah Press, Australia)
*Knapweed is known as 'Bata Cogaidh' in Irish or Battle Stick