They lean. They sink down crumbling
round-shouldered. The very air
is eating them. Blithe colonies of lichen
nibble the fretted inscriptions,
but Mathias Hanrahan, whose last words
were an enquiry as to whether or if
the goose would be cooked,
Christmas Day, 1861, and Sarah Kilcoyne,
mother of fourteen, stumbling
in famishment for a canister of flour
off the neighbours, dwell among us still,
dwell – are verifiable – beloved
morsels in the mouth of race memory.

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Patrick Deeley The End of the WorldPatrick’s latest collection, The End of the World (2019), is published by Dedalus Press and available here.

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(Photo: Mike Beales/flickr.com/ CC BY 2.0)

Patrick Deeley
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