Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Illustration by Pauline Bewick

A young nobleman, whose father was a local prince, saw Patrick asleep. He could see by the cut of him that he was a princely person, and so laid some flowers on Patrick’s breast as a tribute. — Irish Tales and Sagas By Ulick O’Connor

Irish —
Annette Marie Hyder

Don’t give me shamrocks and beer
but words that foam
higher than any head
on a good draft beer
hearts that are greener
in their zest and love of life
than all the shamrocks
on all the hills of Ireland
poets that freckle the populace
rowdies who raise
their proverbially red-tempered heads
in defiance on any given day
whether they are really red, blond
brown, black
or other haired.

I think of my dad and that alone makes me
proud to be a daughter of Ireland.

Orphan of an orphan
I am a beer in my hand for you
I raise myself up

as if in toast
I am libation
a drink for the dead.

Forgive me if sometimes
I pour it out upon the stone
upon the stone
upon the stone
and pour it out on thirsty stone

and watch it drain away.

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