February 2011 - Vol. 47


The Belfast Road

poem by Tadhg Lynch

Driving up the road began, to take her closer to him, 
Because she didnít like to leave, he knew, this time, that she was coming, 
Fixing up her hair, and turning out the entrance, comforting
Asked her would she stay behind?
She left. 

The M50 wasnít finished then, but she took the slip up to it, 
Gravel, Sand, and Rocks, and Soil, like pimples on the surface
Of the foothills joined to make a desert, making straight a highway 
The slip became an entry,
She joined.

Dublin reached its jumbled limbs across, athwart, behind her, 
The road, it shrank between the massing cones on either island, 
As baleful orange eyes which winked a hint of coming hardship, 
Ranged around her, 
She paused.

His road was straight and highly finished, soon coming to a junction, 
The M1 curving, heading West, began to take him from where, 
She, lost between, the space between, one island and another, 
Began to turn her car around,
She looked back. 

But part of her decision was, to follow yet a highway, 
Which he, in turning back afresh, couldnít see propel him South, 
A road which neither knew would turn, and lead back to each other, 
A road that each could easíly see, had torn the land asunder, 
A road that didnít bode for ill, yet promised nothing plenty, 
A road they both began to drive, a road begun on empty.

The road became a steady stream, extending North and South, 
And Dublinís glinting lights receded, Newry bypassed westward, 
Swords and Rush, and Lusk and Skerries, barely taken notice, 
Of, 
She hurried. 

The course now set, he hurried too, not stopping in the Orchard, 
Till chance, or brakes, or Rosíleenís fate, caught his car and flipped it, 
Over, up, and gently down, to land before Jonesborough, 
He crawled out and started walking, to, 
Wherever.

She was coming swiftly up, now passing through the wee one, 
But stopping short before the crossing, put the car in neutral, 
And walking cross the barley fields, she gathered ears from gleanings, 
And stood where he stood, at the lough, and saw, 
You go.

Back beyond where they both stood, back to the road theyíd travelled, 
Which joining north and south in one, bisected by the border,
Formed a cross, on which he set out North, and asked her would she follow?
 And she replied, not looking back, 
I will, 
Go. 

Tadhg Lynch is originally from Dublin, Ireland. He is a Kairos Mission Leader serving on 
the European Mobile Household Team and he is an associate in the Servants of the Word.. 

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