Onuma – a poem by Maeve Reilly


What then is your name? 
The name that claims you as a dweller of the earth.
It may not be that name you were given, the name
that certified your birth. 

What now is your name?
The name you name yourself to rectify your worth,
you know– your bark and sap name, your wing 
and fin name, your lichened rock and hidden river name. 

The name your feet print 
step by step as you walk on dirt, 
as you walk over bones of the dead–what then
is the name the trees will know you by
when you return? 

Maeve (aka Jeri) Reilly is a writer from Minnesota who spends part of each year in Co Sligo, Ireland, where she once lived. Her most recent words can be found in Dark Mountain, Utne Reader, and The Lonely Crowd (forthcoming). She is currently learning Irish in solidarity with her ancestors and with the land. Tweets @MaeveWriter

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