Patrick Kavanagh’s Grave at Inniskeen

In a dead church they keep you alive. Your words
Hanging from the pillars you hid behind; afraid
God would think it not worthwhile to grow a poet
In such poor soil. Your father, six inches high,

Plays a cardboard melodion beneath a string of lights
Illuminating the papier-mâché sixteen acre farm. You peep
Around a tiny doorpost, searching for a penknife to nick
The edge of Time with six old years.

Before we go to see your grave, we see your ghost;
Rasping and jumping on the screen. To me you say,
‘Courage is almost everything’ – one lung sucking
Digitized air. Shamefaced, I hide in the darkness.

The trick of your grave is to find it, in spite of the signpost.
And no mention of Katherine lying in your arms.
Another local row. This time the fierce defended plot
Big enough to take a coffin.

The envy of the living and the dead beneath our feet,
Two fine horses in a slanted field run like mad things
Through the last lines of this poem, kicking and prancing
In rain lifted from the cloudy streets of Armagh.

Ron Carey Poetry