Commemoration, by Sarah Clancy



It’s a still day and its only getting calmer
there’s not even a desultory seagull squawking
or a fly buzzing that I could summarily dispose of
and I am out this morning bristling in full battle regalia
with nowhere in particular to march to and no one to fight with.
Yesterday I looked at old photos though I know I shouldn’t
and it left me feeling like there’s too much time behind us
for my mind to cope with and this morning as if in answer
I’ve assembled all my medals for you and am standing to attention
I have laid out every scalp I’ve ever taken
as if the past could ever teach the present something,
as if I knew what it wanted.

Sarah Clancy won the inaugural Irish People’s Poetry Prize in 2015