Sunday, October 09, 2005


This brief excerpt is from the poem 'How?' in the second section of Michael O'Siadhail's thought-provoking collection, A Fragile City (Bloodaxe Books, 1995). I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Michael at a conference on culture and faith held at Swanwick back in January 1997. He hails from Dublin and is a full-time writer and critic. Such words eat away at our lazy comfort in moments of genuine tragedy like this.

When the time comes, how will we have been:
giver or hoarder, sharers or sleek gringos
Children of the barrio, how can I explain? [...]

Something cries its grievance. A false coin
is spinning: heads I win, tails you lose.
When the time comes, how will we have been?

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