Deirdre’s Monologue


Photo ©Margaret McCarthy

You are not in charge here anymore
and you don’t speak my language-
choked and impotent with the old words, albatrosses
shame; fear; own.
All the new words that flood my head!
journey…, distance…, rush…, goodbye…
Whole new questions shape themselves for my concern-
how far? how long? which way?
In their urgency they push the old verbs of
and force them to give way
to stretch… reach… lead to…
I like the dreamy cloudlike height of aspire,
the wide open gate and long, expansive breadth of possibility,
the cold, clean astringent sound of
The fields and mountains understand their meanings perfectly.

Journeys through them change minds
and changing roads change thinking
as new places force sight along
in new ways and new words
are needed to describe our changing
The journey’s uncertain outcome colors all
our describing.

I like the word initiate;
so I initiate this journey, that
is no shame,
even carried along by hounds and menials.