Wolf

One Poem in Irish and English
by Dan Murphy

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Mac Tíre Deireanach na hÉireann

Aimsíonn na cú é
gar do fuil na gcaorach
ag péinteáil an fhéir.

Tá sé ag siúl go mall i gcruth ocht
agus taispeánann sé a chuid fiacla
agus ní chaitheann sé ach drisíní

agus níl aon chiontacht aige.
Siúlann sé roimh a scáth
le taobh haolchloch agus driseacha

a líneann na cuibhrinn.
Tá a fhios aige trí bholadh
a chríoch. Tá sé ag breathnú

i súil raidhfil
in am geansaithe agus uain,
ar thalamh atá chomh lom go bhfeiceann sé

anois an fharraige níos faide.
Siúlann sé ar luaithreach casarnach
agus diúltaíonn sé, cosúil le ceo, an fál seo.

 

 

The Last Wolf of Ireland

The hounds find him
by the sheep’s blood
painting the grass.

He paces in figure eights
and bares his teeth
and wears nothing but burrs

and bears no guilt.
He walks before his shadow
along limestone and briars

that line the paddocks.
He knows by smell
his place. He holds a gaze

with the eye of a rifle
in the time of sweaters and lamb
on land so clear-cut he can see

an ocean rise beyond the plots.
He treads the ash of understory.
He refuses, like fog, this hedge.

 

 

 

Dan MurphyA former carpenter, Dan Murphy teaches at Boston University. He recently served as writer-in-residence at Phillips Academy. A past Robert Pinsky Global Fellow and Grace Abernethy Scholar, his poems appear or are forthcoming in Sugar House Review, The Summerset Review, TAB Journal, The Adirondack Review, Slipstream, and elsewhere.

Header photo by Caden Van Cleave, courtesy Pexels.

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