On the eve of All Hallows on Kilmahil Hill
The angel with white wings calls us in.
We enter humbly by the back way,
walk through sturdy brick monuments
with unreadable names,
the recent in black slate with gold lettering.
Bright posies in the light of death.
We wander in silence past the fading momentos
where a fallen angel lies on a bed of pebbles
knocked over by the Irish wind.
We set it to rights, continue
in the shadow of the surviving wall
of a once thriving village church.
We see the ghosts of old traditions,
the coffin rocking gently on the cart,
the mourners walking slowly in a long line behind.
Rows on rows of gravestones like an army
of forgotton souls, turn right and here is the
all-forgiving figure of the sacred heart of Jesus
He guides us past the elaborate sculptures,
The pale pastel colours softening the way
of the Stations of the Cross.
Oh, unbeliever that I am, are you not moved?
The winged healer at the Holy Well,
the blue and white Archangel Michael.
The story of the travelling pony,
miracles and revelations, a bed of roses
with just one tiny audacious deep pink
thistle hiding in the neatly cut grass.