Friday, October 01, 2010

Seamus Heaney: Miracle

Not the one who takes up his bed and walks
But the ones who have known him all along
And carry him in -

Their shoulders numb, the ache and stoop deeplocked
In their backs, the stretcher handles
Slippery with sweat. And no let up

Until he's strapped on tight, made tiltable
and raised to the tiled roof, then lowered for healing.
Be mindful of them as they stand and wait

For the burn of the paid out ropes to cool,
Their slight lightheadedness and incredulity
To pass, those who had known him all along.

"Obviously Heaney's lowered someone close into the ground; that's how he knows the rope burns." He's lowered someone close into the ground, that's how he recognises what I'd missed in the slim volume shared over a decaff latte in Waterstone's Birmingham, this morning. There must be Remembrance, and there must be recognition of those who survived, too.