Its single blemish two craters
inside the greater wing-shaped crater,
footprints of whoever stood here,
knowing that the creature of water
and cold he’d make depended
on his shaking snow from
his shoulders and hair
and stepping gingerly
for Éamon Little, on our birthday
Were you conceived in the room you sleep in
upstairs now with your wife and children?
The search for the truth begins and ends
with the register for sea trout and salmon
lifted from the river, where, among currents,
spring tides and pools, your surname occurs.
Although they are beautiful, if you can turn
a blind eye to the names for bait and lures -
Damsel Nymph, Fluttering Sedge, Hare’s Ear,
Black Ghost, Whirligig, Night Muddler -
this book, filled as it is with names and weights,
is a dead ringer for the one the midwife keeps.
Even now, as we rise to check on the children
where they sleep within earshot of the river,
two midwives are rising in darkness, dressing
for all weathers, fixing, what pass, in this light,
for fishing tackle boxes to their carriers, and
setting out in opposite directions to deliver us.
it wintered in,
wind chime to,
to plant it out.
PADDY MEEGAN’S ‘From The Life Around Me’
The extra lines that Paddy Meegan pens
on the fly leaves of From the Life Around Me
are the luck penny that the cattle dealer gives.