Acolyte – a poem by Eabhan Ní Shuileabháin


I wait here for you every night, all night,
my back strong, my hands resting,
my eyes staring straight ahead, unseeing.
They think I am meditating,
They watch me every night, yearning, praying;
in the day, they give me courteous words,
treat me with hushed respect.
They see me as a mistress of emotion,
one who is close to awakening.

They see only my body, my discipline.

I am raging within this cage,
past sorrow, past curling into your arms,
past caring. I need to feel you inside
my heart again, cannot stand this desert,
this yellow sun screaming from its blue sky.
I need to be back in the valley again,
without fear, always without fear,
knowing you are there before me, beside me,
knowing as the sands slip through my fingers

you are holding the hourglass near.


Eabhan Ní Shuileabháin is an Irish poet, born of an American father and Irish mother, who has lived as an outsider all her life in Ireland, Holland, America and Wales. She has had work published in a range of journals in Ireland, Britain, America, Europe and Australia.

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