The BoxMy father kept Ireland in a sealed tin under his bed. We weren’t to peek. Blue grass grew there and tall brush crops, a dejected wind beat ‘til that tin were fit to burst. The chocolate voice of a fiddle played dark tones, lonely tones and I saw a baby in tannin-stained rags dumped on a church doorstep in The Diocese of Kerry. I saw a jigsaw of boy-shaped pieces. A bearded man drank bitter in a welfare club, finger-painting surnames in spilt amber slops. An old woman with the same blue eyes as his, she shook her head, closed her door. I saw the man drunk, fallen in slant rain. The bride at his wedding put him in the doghouse, bent him, muddied him with blackberry bruises. Three babies got lost, small as your pinkie. My father kept Ireland in a sealed tin under his bed. I never peeked.
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