Lord, It Is Easter Time

Lord, it is Easter time
and Niamh’s hair is dressed in braids
the broken down trees are budding
and the broken walls
and the unswept streets
washed in sunlight.
Lord of light,
when the children are
dressed in suits
and marched to church
and the seasons turn
and the earth’s hard skin cracks.
Lord of broken promises,
when this life like a prison sentence
is absolved,
when this place like a disease
goes into remission
and hope is kick started at dawn
like a broken engine.
Lord in the desperate silence of
time passing
year after year like an excess of
as if one life was not
when this hurt woman
lifts her life from her hands
and asks what does it mean?
Lord of loss and lives
in the early hours
when time falls soft
on the ground
when the wind is stilled
and this grim procession of ghosts
descends the stairs
in Ballyogan or another town.
Lord of altars and priests
when words lie empty and wounded
in laneway and cul-de-sac
like old beer cans.
Lord of the ritual,
our own birth and death
and the unspoken hours
of sickness,
this prayer like smoke from a fire
like heads and hands lifted from kitchen tables
of cold tea and half smoked cigarettes
when the children dressed like angels
still sleep
and her hair is uncombed
when the barking dogs dream
when the busstops are empty
and all the doors closed,
this prayer at Easter time
rising like an unwashed plea
over alarm clocks and rooftops
over the landfill and the deserted roads
like life itself
in a howl of rage
lifted on its wings like a bird

the strength to go on
the unanswered questions asked
the questions answered
in the living.

“Lord, It Is Easter Time” comes from Séamas Carraher’s unpublished manuscript The Song of Poverty.

Séamas Carraher’s poetry has appeared in a number of print and online journals and anthologies, including Dead Beats: CANTOS, Pemmican, The SHOp (Ireland), Full of Crow, Word Riot & Poetry Ireland. He has recently been published in The Camel Saloon, Red Poets 19 (Wales) and The Poetry Bus 5 (Ireland). At the moment he lives in Ballyogan, South County Dublin, Ireland.

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