When your head smells of
Sunkissed Raspberry or Joy and Jasmine,
it masks the days of sea swimming –
wild jumps from Liscannor’s rocks.
I can’t catch the scent of clean straw
you tell me filled the room
when our babies were born,
making me think
I might have been
the blessed Virgin after all.
It hides warm legs tangled together on cold nights.
There is no musty depth to wrap itself around
my dad, your mum, your dad
and the grown-up choosing of caskets,
the reading of poems and the polite heavy nods
of strangers’ hanging heads.
Gone is the trace of ordinary day-after-days
of lighting fires, playing games:
of planting seeds in spring that fail to thrive
and then planting them again.