Sinéad McClure

In Nagoro village scarecrows outnumber people ten-to-one

Sinéad McClure

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My father yearned for deserted islands.

People grow better in silence, music will follow.

He retreated from our world, climbed into Verdi

mouthing Woman is flighty.

Oh and yes we were wayward, cut from him,

and he was King among us.

As I age to pass his middle years

I crave a silence where music should grow.

Hear it out here among the trees, feel it cling

the way fruticose takes to branches.

I allow the hush to thread itself

along the outline of my shadow

tack in at the shoulders, latch the dark

and hold me together in its lockstitch.

In Nagoro village scarecrows outnumber people ten-to-one.

When they leave they are replaced by ragdolls.

A scarecrow gardener, farmer, flower seller,

an entire school of scarechicks in effigy reminders.

Aughris Village was a once busy clochán,

no longer any blacksmiths, no dressmakers,

no publicans, no teachers, no tailors,

no shopkeepers, no carpenters, no bootmakers,

not even a washerwoman. 

Still, the ocean feeds its solid walls

with defiant music, and I cling on,

straw falling out at my feet.

Sinéad McClure

Sinead's poetry and prose have appeared online, in print and on radio. Most recently her work can be found in The Stinging Fly, Ink Sweat & Tears, Live Encounters, StepAway Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, and RTEjr radio. Sinéad has work forthcoming in Howl Magazine & Southword. She is the 2022 recipient of the Roscommon Chapbook Award with her book The Word According to Crow. Her chapbook The songs I sing are sisters co-authored with Cáit O Neill McCullagh is available from Dreich Press.