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This was included in Cyphers 70
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Lino

Eamonmaguidhir_thumbnail_02by Éamon Mag Uidhir03 Nov 2013

Ochre marble lino grew in the house
Like scutch grass running through
Meadows, reaching every room,
There was so much of it, enough for
The kitchen, the hallway, the parlour,
Even the toilet.

My father, a stoker who earned four medals
And his own engine room, brought
It back, its former abode a liner
Ballroom, where it long defied
The unsteady soles and heels of
Those adrift in war.

I wasn’t born yet when he first laid
It, but early on I found with a little
Talc it made a dinging stocking-feet
Slide­ – though who’d’ve thought that
Quickstepping around it across
Unsettling seas?

It followed us to our next home,
Like an old pet, though roaming
Fewer rooms, as if it was running
Out of lives. All the finally
Worn-out surfaces were humanely
Left behind.

I see it yet, the pale yellow scumble
Washing through it, leaving no
Two square inches alike, surging and
Foaming outside all reason and time,
Like the waters that once shrugged
Deep below it.