At her Junior High School graduation, she sings alone in front of the lot of us— her voice soprano, surprising, almost a woman's. It is the Our Father in French, the new language making her strange, out there, fully fledged and ready for anything. Sitting together—her separated mother and father—we can hear the racket of traffic shaking the main streets of Jersey City as she sings Deliver us from evil, and I wonder can she see me in the dark here, years from belief, on the edge of tears. It doesn't matter. She doesn't miss a beat, keeps in time, in tune, while into our common silence I whisper, Sing, love, sing your heart out!
From Relations: New and Selected Poems, 1998
Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minn.
Copyright 1998 by Eamon Grennan.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press from Relations: New and Selected Poems. Copyright 1998 by Eamon Grennan. For further permissions information, contact Permissions Department, Graywolf Press, 2402 University Ave., Ste. 203, St Paul, MN 55114. http://www.graywolfpress.org
Eamon Grennan (1941- ) was born in Dublin and is the author of 16 poetry collections, including There Now (Graywolf Press, 2016).