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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
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Songs of Earth and Light

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KATIE SHEEHAN

 

 

 

Katie Sheehan

Katie Sheehan lives in Dublin, where she is a PhD candidate in Trinity College's sociology department. Her work has previously appeared in The Moth and Contemporary Verse 2. She has an MFA in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and is originally from Chicago.


 

 

 

 

Vancouver Alleyways are Not Lined
with Japanese Torii

 

 

Wooden pylons file like gates,

gaping one after another down

backstreets, but these are not

 

gates at all.  Follow below

the power lines down between

the backs of buildings, past dumpsters

 

and waiting delivery bays, by old

beds and couches surrendered to

infestation; keep going

 

beyond the underground parking garages

and the men and women who salvage what’s left

worth saving.  You will pass

 

through false gate after false gate,

and you will enter just what you

have left behind. The same raggedy

 

toys and balcony gardens will dangle

overhead.  The same wet,

empty clothes will waver

 

in the wind.  You will be

in the same glass city, you will still

be yourself, and you will find that

 

same self small between

millions of lives, squared off

in what you once called buildings, as though

 

that explained everything, and looking ahead

you will see distance peering back

at you through the narrowing frames.

 

 

 

©2012 Katie Sheehan

 

Author Links

 

Purchase The Moth (Issue 2) containing a Sheehan Poem

Contemporary Verse 2

 

 

 

 

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