Conor O'Callaghan

Four Poems

you reap what you sow

Imagine you are this poem
moments before it is translated,

full of old stuff nobody says anymore.
There is a mill wheel. There is even a soul,

for crying out loud! And there is this stile
you sit out on to catch the last of a sun

that will not survive from the original
when it happens as something

really simple like kids moving in
to the affluent block parallel to this.

They have been playing lacrosse in the heat.
The trucks have come and gone.

Now they are placing down their sticks.
Now they are standing gawping through

that gap in the hedge the cats bored
years ago as if through fog.

The farmyard implements
scattered like punctuation marks,

the armless tailor’s dummy in the asparagus,
have no equivalents in their tongue.

They cannot hear or answer the woodpecker’s
landline ringing out in your maple.

They have only the handful of phrases
you are mouthing to go on.

I have a soul, you appear to be calling.
Make of my soul what you will.

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