Hungry Hill, Derryclancy, Coombane --
high names in her silent room, h
is dinner cold on the table,
the clock slowly wiping its face --
Claddaghgarriff, Knockowen, Rams Hill.
The quiet life. The long tick of the room.
And now this unfolding of an old map,
the wood grain
stain of a mountain range,
her finger touching each town.
The moon is loud on the road;
her right hand cold on the pane,
frozen like five points of a star
when she reached out to his falling.
Now he sways at the gate, singing.
In her other hand the mountains
are folded away -- West Cork --
the breadth of the Irish sea
between the one hand and the other.
The names are packed in her head:
Rams Rill, Knockowen, Claddaghgarriff,
Coombane, Derryclancy, Hungry Hill.
(This poem was written in 1990, fourteen years before Frank saw these townlands of West Cork.)