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At Allihies, Co. Cork
by Michael McKimm

As if it wasn’t enough that we saw
the stonechat on the fencepost
feeding its chick on the loose barbed-wire,
or that we were surrounded by a lush
enriching mist that seemed to hold
the land as tight as cuckoo-spit,
you gave us a happy-as-larry
unsuspecting hare, a kestrel high in the hills,
snowy moths at the window;
you gave us a verdant river thick
with ferns, foxgloves, cotton-grass,
hundreds of wild flowers; spirit, you gave
to us the shadows on relentless towering rocks,
the night-clouds sculpting the sky –
O spirit of Allihies, you gave us this
exclusively, quietly; then in a second’s
unfathomable lift-off you let the sunlight
burn through the mist; you gave us the horizon,
you gave us eagerness, persistence,
you gave us the open road.

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