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Doireann Ní Ghríofa
We were there that day, in Thistle, Utah
the day wet clay began to bury the city.
From the attic window, we saw all the others
hustled away on buses. The swamp rose,
slow at first, trickle to stream to gush. When we
held hands, the lines on our palms sparked.
Mud dammed the creeks, sent surges of dirt-water
to swallow the sidewalks. It heaved houses aside,
toppled poles, smothered cars, snapped doors.
We stared until everything blurred.
Train tracks buckled in its path.
Railcar roofs became rafts, their carriages sank.
Mud settled to silt on the roads and in our throats.
Our memories faded, buried in the filth,
so we started our stories again. We learned
new words and spoke in syllables of murk.
Now, when night sinks,
we swallow each other like silk.
(from Clasp by Doireann Ní Ghríofa, April 2015)