Poem of the Week | October 28, 2008

This week’s poem is “The Freedom of the City” by Catherine MacCarthy, which originally appeared in TMR 26:3 (2003).  MacCarthy has published three collections of poetry: This Hour of the Tide (Salmon, 1994); the blue globe (1998, Blackstaff Press), and Suntrap (2007, Blackstaff Press).  In addition to poetry, she has also written a novel: One Room an Everywhere (2003, Blackstaff Press), and a joint book: How High the Moon (Poetry Ireland, Sense of Place Award, 1991).  She was awarded arts council bursaries for poetry in 1994 and 1998, and her poems have been published widely in Ireland and the U.S. She was Writer in Residence for Dublin City, (1994), and University College Dublin (2002), and she leads workshops at the Irish Writers Centre

The Freedom of the City

He slips out the back gate
with a young woman,
fair hair, pouting lips
and long ethnic skirts,

an old man with keys in his hand,
his bald head turned
to check the lie of the land,
that one backward glance

cautious as the bushy-tailed
red fox whose eyes met mine
in our garden after rain
one November afternoon

in a deluge of green
between leaf fall and sunshine
before he turned to light again
high on the boundary wall.