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"The Clear Spirit Of Somewhere"
                              --Eavan Boland
by ellen

Passive as glass, I mopped floors
between gunmetal gray walls
cooked our first meals
in a kitchen pinched out of a closet.

In our makeshift flat we counted
rats that first month and fled
in a flurry late one night to escape
walls gnawed clear through.

Courage a term
I'd merely heard, I wonder
what my husband saw
in my awkward walk to womanhood.

Later he showed me how
one dies, and in dying,
he left me young sons
and his astonishing instructions of love.






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