Ifor ap Glyn

(1961 / London)

Skin - Poem by Ifor ap Glyn

We were reluctant pilgrims,
in our school minibus to Rhosyr;
long seconds ticked off by its wipers,
the rain had stolen the view.

"Do ye not see...?" quoted Sir;
as he tried to conjure up the last storm of the princes
with their stars falling;
and how the vultures came to pick over the court's corpse;
removed the ribs of the roof,
and carried the stones to Caernarfon.

But then, he said,
the very oaks clashed once more
the sea smote at the land,
till sand dunes mended the scars of the court,
smoothing an old wound into oblivion.

And that's how it was, said Sir,
till the time when we were born;
and students from somewhere came to dig the sand,
peel back the centuries
with surgical precision;
and "look", he said,
"Do ye not see...?"
So we looked (just to please him).
And we saw, through wipers and rain,
the stumps of walls
protecting emptiness;
we saw two lovers' graffiti
who came here to be alone;

and we saw ourselves,
as if from a window,
like a people who lost weight too quickly,
and feel their history
hanging on them loosely.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017



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