The Bog Girl's Reply
(in response to Seamus Heany's Punishment)
Naked under my blanket
of peat, bog earth,
I was peacefully blind
dreaming away my ring.

Free without its embrace,
and lighter than
the stone dog sleeping
heavy on my thin legs.

Before you, I had my own 
beauty.  You have not given
any great gift, no victim
forced into stony silence.

You almost love
me, you say, almost.
I do not
need your almost --

I had my own
which lead me into the dark
cold bog: my own
almost-too-much

standing over me then,
staring with art
full eyes, broken hands,
silent mouth, empty.


11 May 2000

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