Wednesday Poem


How odd of my wife
I thought at the time
to pluck bay leaves
to season her stews
from a tree that shades
the grave of a girl
in Kilclispeen.

Mary Dempsey
knew seventeen springs
before they laid her
into the earth,
before the bay tree
put down roots

before my mother
and father knew
fruit of the tree
of life.

Sitting at table
with wife and child
I relish the dish
and acknowledge the guest
who is part of the feast –

you’re welcome, Mary,
into my house
and you’re more than welcome
into my mouth

for this is the way
the world goes round
from the first kiss

to the baby’s milk,
from the first word
to the tongue’s last sound –

bread of communion
we taste in the mouth
is broken in commonwealth
under the ground.

by Michael Cody