Crannóg

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Arts Council of Ireland and Galway City Council.


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Ireland's premier fiction and poetry magazine since 2002

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Burr


Linda McKenna


Once full of letters never sent,

unsure how to end, yours faithfully,

with much love; forgiveness

or called in debt, my trinket box

holds brooches, pasta bracelets,

green-coloured pearls, a packet

with baby teeth and a wedding ring.


The veneer is glossy walnut burr,

not created by insect infestation,

or virus, but the stress from a graft

made to block the sap; the result,

prized but fragile, prone to cracking,

resisting the lathe, needing instead

a steady hand, painstaking matching.


The pattern is the orange and brown

you see when you close your eyes

in morning sun. With a child you

could play a game of spotting open

mouths, sheeted ghosts. It is how

my thoughts might look like under

glass; feathers, ribbons, knots, eyes.

Linda McKenna’s debut poetry collection, In the Museum of Misremembered Things, was published by Doire Press in 2020. The title poem has been shortlisted for the An Post/Irish Book Awards, Irish poem of the year. She has had poems published in a range of publications including Poetry Ireland Review, the North, Crannóg, The Honest Ulsterman.