The Way Memory Operates

Vona Groarke

is the way a man scheduled for hospital at twoat ten plants a rosebush by the walland asks not to be photographedas he tamps the earth with the sole of his boot,the inconceivable earth.Small comfort that the rosebush dies,that instead of roses all summer longis the absence of roses year on yearshifting a little when the light is crampedor rain huddles in from the west.This too is the way I come backto where I was young and my children were youngto where we planted all those summersand tamped the months around them, hardand hard to say where the years have gonewhen we lay down, night on night,when the slipway sings so narrowlyand the wind stoppers up the gap in the walland the sky is civil in fits and startsand the boats play their moorings like spoons.

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Vona Groarke has published seven collections with the Gallery Press, the latest being Double Negative (2019). 2016 saw the publication of Four Sides Full, a book-length prose essay on art frames, middle age and much else, alongside her Selected Poems, winner of the Pigott Prize for the Best Irish Collection. In 2019-20 she was a Cullman Fellow at NYPL.



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Poetry Ireland Review is a highly-regarded journal of poetry. Published three times a year, the Review includes the work of both emerging and established Irish and international poets, essayists, critics and visual artists. 

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