after Camillo Sbarbero
by Kevin Higgins
Ciúnas, sad person, these are the great
days when one must speak without whining.
The children of the long political sleep forced awake.
Like a vine heavy with grapes in peak season,
laughing at its own potential riches,
I don’t think I shall die again
and now know I did not die before.
Walking the public squares together again,
everyone clicking our picture,
I am there with you even when
three hundred miles away
on enforced holiday,
or home unable to get up for
lack of the necessary breath.
I am drawn to the recognised face
in the crowd, checking itself
in the shop window,
stunned to find itself here again.
At the pinnacle of a familiar song
sung anew, or the glimpse on a passing
TV screen of a pale boy being
what I once was, tears,
and my eyes relit with old light.
Because the permafrost I thought my lot
gives way, and the Earth shifts as it must,
I am like an old loudspeaker with a new battery
switched on after years in the garden shed.
Back there, I must not go,
as there’s nothing but vacated spiders’ webs
and the ruins of lamps and lawnmowers.
Kevin Higgins, one of our sharpest and most prolific contributors, has been diagnosed with sarcoidosis, see here.
Kevin Higgins is a Galway-based poet, essayist and reviewer, and satirist-in-residence at the alternative literature site The Bogman's Cannon, www.bogmanscannon.com.