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AS IF THE HOUR (poem) - Thomas McCarthy - Ireland - Poetry International
 
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It was the snow fell out of a gap in time –

As indiscreet as the crunch of feet on frozen grass.
It was the ghost of a child running across our path,
Crying sideways in the unexpected snow
As if a mother was following, as if the hour cared.
The dogs follow us, snorting with the freeze,
Their disturbance of snow like a conversation
That falls into place after so many years.
Here is a plate of ice where our image is frozen,
And, here, the powdered icing-sugar falls
Upon the cold grass. It is a sheet and a forest,
This childhood we wintered through,
Saving what we could, logs and kindling
Of happiness, across the tundra, the tundra
Of an icy town. Each time they came for us
We were out in the snow, never letting loose
The cries out of paradise, nor letting on
How we could see the break in the snow.

Let the dogs be our witnesses, let the snout
Now rooting in the joy of snow
Be the one companion of our past. Let snow
Fall on us with all of its clean compassion;
Snow that never hopes for a dialogue but settles
Upon what it witnesses, cooling rage to crystal.