Friday, 25 July 2008

Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill


The fairy woman walked into my poem.
She closed no door
She asked no by-your-leave.
Knowing my place
I did not tell her go.
I played the woman-of-no-welcomes trick
and said:
"What’s your hurry, here’s your hat.
Pull up to the fire
eat and drink what you get –
but if I were in your house
as you are in my house
I’d go home straight away
but anyway, stay.”
She stayed. Got up and pottered
round the house. Dressed the beds
wasted the ware. Put the dirty clothes
in the washing-machine.
When my husband came home for his tea
he didn’t know what he had wasn’t me.
For I am in the fairy field
in lasting darkness
and with the cold there
dressed only in white mist.
And if he wants me back
there is a solution –
get the sock of a plough
smear it with butter
and redden it with fire.
And then let him go to the bed
where lies the succubus
and press it with red iron.
“Push it into her face,
burn and brand her,
and as she fades before your eyes
I’ll materialize
and as she fades before your eyes
I’ll materialize.”

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