An Old Man’s Love Poem Sung on the Royal Canal

Mick Corrigan

Pagan woman, when I’m gone, call me back from out of the air,
conjure my bones from out of the dark,
hug them tightly to your breast,
whisper hoarsely one more time
of love and desire and the joy we made,
when night gave out both light and heat,
when we thought we’d die from pleasure,
when we thought we’d die from pain.
Wrap me in your wedding dress
the one you made from silk and moss,
walk the canal chanting those words
of all the things that might have been
and everything that was,
whitethorn on the hedgerows,
our ancient knuckled hands
tangled in each other’s roots
and who knows dearheart
perhaps next time we’ll fly.