Today's poem is by Eavan Boland



The boredom of the spring afternoon.
The aftermath of rain. The ground soggy with it.

Geography class in the upstairs room, facing the bay.
Eavan, do you know how an island is formed?

Pronunciation: 'I-lənd
Function: noun
Etymology: alteration (influenced by Anglo-French isle) of
earlier iland, from Middle English, from Old English īgland
(akin to Old Norse eyland) , from īg island (akin to Old English
ēa river, Latin aqua water) + land land
I: a tract of land surrounded by water and smaller than a continent


Midnight a sound of car alarms and sirens.
I am reading a novel of nineteenth-century Ireland.

Sedition is in the air. Betrayal is in the future.

My face is caught
in the coarse waters of polished lemon wood.

What is the body anyway but a stranger
bringing news of somewhere else?

In the distance I can hear the Kish lighthouse—
a phrase from the coast, saying salt water, saying danger.

Copyright © 2008 Eavan Boland All rights reserved
from Domestic Violence
W.W. Norton & Company
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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