Stephen Reilly Reflects on Home

Don’t trust an Irish poet he tells me.
If you go into any pub there will be
at least two sitting at the bar, guarantee ya.
Oh yeah, most poets per population by far.
They are gathered there like a flock
of sheep, they are; like a bellowing
knot of toads or a drunken charm
of finches; oooh they’re a fast talkin’
busyness of ferrets too they are;
you’ll feel for them,
you will, like a kindle of kittens.
And, they all leave the pub at once too,
as a skein, the V shape of geese, seriously!
They sleep open-eyed in a hover
as trout do, wake in a cloud of gnats, red-eyed
like a down of hares. Return to their labor
of moles, mischief of mice like
a crash of rhinos, murder of crows.
They cry like hounds at the cliff
of Moher, pipe like eels
along the River Shannon, band
like salamanders in Belfast.
They brood chickens and muster storks,
party like peafowl in Kylemore Abbey
until like an exaltation of skylarks,
an unkindness of ravens, a tiding
of magpie, they flock back
to their bars, sloth on stools
like circus bears, like a congress
of bush babies, or a parliament
of owls.

Robert Evory is a creative writing fellow at Syracuse University. He is the poetry editor for Salt Hill and the co-founder and managing editor for The Poet’s Billow. His poetry is featured or is forthcoming in: ArroyoSpillwaySpoon RiverThe Baltimore ReviewNatural BridgeWater~Stone Review, and elsewhere.