Brothers Walking Near Letterkenny, Donegal

in memory of Kevin Francis Xavier Joyce

We walked the hedgerow lane no wider than a double mattress,
Enough for two, the brother and I, moving in such a morning silence
This could have been the curling road leading to the Other World.
Last night still in our heads, our feet made wee wet whispers, What more to say?
Do I take pains to tell you how Ireland, how She enters the eyes, the pores?
Everything we spoke of ran on to where there was no need for speaking.
After all, who over time doesn’t learn the Litany of Ruin by heart?
Soft Donegal gleamed in long golden hours all of yesterday.
When will the sun shine again? No matter, says Kevin, You look grand in gray.

We’d come somehow the length of years by different routes.
From a small hot street in Purgatory, from the same tight blazing house;
Where great cries and shrieks still sky-write themselves out above the eaves
And hang like perpetual chimney smoke over a fire that never goes out.
We paid our way here, as they say in Ulster, to walk across the River Swilly
Through secretive hills on a day as wiley as a dangerous watchful animal.
Two bare-headed jokers weaving through a green and dark jade showering.
And that is how I shall remember us: going no place special, soaking wet,
Walking the lane so far from what some call “home” walking with no home ahead.