Map and Memory


I have a map of Erris on my wall

My mother’s place land of her footfall

Bare feet that beat a daily path to school

Across the bog the river waters cool


The edge of the world was my mother’s home

A northwest corner surrounded by the foam

Atlantic rollers crashing onto land

Or gently creeping over Blacksod sand


Her mother came from Doolough by the sea

Where gentle views look out to Sauleen Quay

That once saw liners leave for the New York shore

Taking away poor emigrants poverty at the door


Childhood summers in my mother’s glen

Showed me a world so beautiful back then

To think the people left it all behind

Beauty can be barren and unkind


Blanket bog moorland mountain wild

All were there in Glencullen side

And family so warm and welcoming

The childhood of my life my joyful spring


Brian Fahy

30 December 2021

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