Thursday, April 19, 2007

Under a Sheltering Sky

What I saw in Ireland... and it saw in me
When I look up at you looking down...
Say it was only a dream...

How many days will it take, now,
Before that sad-faced doctor's expression will leave me?
How many countries will I run to, looking out into oceans
Thinking they are as empty as me,
Looking into strange, smiling faces
Awkward in my dead silence




Rage Haven.

Twirl me about and twirl me around
Let me grow dizzy and fall to the ground
And when I look up at you looking down,
Say it was only a....

The flat calm lies across me
A greasy film
I see myself in its rubbery reflection
From somewhere down inside here...

I remember Ophelia lying there
With the current running over her lips
The babbling brook laughing
Across her fingers tips
And she not even blinking.

You know, Tim? You know, Marcus? I thought
The haunting might end, in Ireland.
I thought the ghosts of wrecked childhood would
Dissolve, Sugar in hot tea
At St. Stephen's Green.

But mists betrayed me
The green fields in sunlight
Too familiar, like the rolls of empty
Iowa South I crossed angry
And abandoned, so many times, homeward.

Colin pushed us and pushed us.
It was all wrong. The sight
Seeing we never do. The narrow detours
Because the guide said to. The running
From one bed to another, places we only

I'll remember Ireland.
Thin blue skies, thin rough tracks
Loose stacked stone fences and voices
Singing in Galway, but
Not for me.
Not for me.

I used to believe we were just like those trees
We grow just as tall and as proud as we please
With our feet on the ground and arms in the breeze
Under a sheltering sky.

--Mary Chapin Carpenter
"Only a Dream"