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Although there is no paper yet, no ink

There is already the hand

That moves, needing to write

Words never shouted from balconies of rock

Into the concave hills

To one far away, whose hair

On a collarbone resembles

That break in the dunes, that tufted ridge

He must have passed, faring away.

If the railway does not exist yet, there is, even

Now, a nostril to recognize

The smells of fatigue and arrival,

An ear cocked for the slow beginning,

Deliberated, of movement, wheels rolling.

If the telephone has not been invented

By anyone, still the woman in the scratchy shirt,

Strapped to her bed, on a dark evening,

With rain beginning outside, is sending

Impulses that sound and stop and ask

Again and again for help, from the one

Who is far away, slowly

Beginning her day's work,

Or, perhaps, from one already in his grave.

Come Back

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

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