“Lucky Enough” by Emily Sernaker

Emily Sernaker


“If you’re lucky enough to be Irish,
you’re lucky enough.”
—Irish proverb

Isn’t it grand to know the Irish
are out there saluting magpies,
braiding St. Brigid crosses,
calling their meat “fuckin gorgeous,”
calling idiots “fuckin eejits!”
driving on the left side of the road
over a bridge shaped like a harp
in a city dotted with statues
of literary heroes where even taxi drivers
sound like historians spouting lessons
about Kilmainham Jail, Michael
Collins, the whole place understanding
how they got there, the whole
day open like a guitar case
loaded with tips from busking,
an afternoon tilt like a perfect pint,
in a land with good chocolate
and no snakes, where airport
security stamps your passport
with green ink after the pilot
says: A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!
over the intercom, where strangers
ensure your success in finding
the Armagh church your great great
grandparents were married in,
old stones and stuffed rain
clouds, violins and rhubarb,
Claddagh rings turned taken
or free, yellow flowers sprawling
hills of Howth, Wicklow
waterfalls, walks you’ll revisit
in dreams, like that massive
lake spanning across St. Stephens
where swans actually glide
toward one another, bumping
heads, making a heart
with their necks?

from Rattle #67, Spring 2020


Emily Sernaker: “I’m grateful for the Irish—their stories, songs, humor, and heart—and think fondly of them, especially around St. Patrick’s Day.” (web)

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