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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

Wake: Up to Poetry

"The act of poetry is a rebel act."

Poem of the Week: “January Drought”

As storm clouds roll into Winston-Salem, Conor O’Callaghan writes of a somewhat drier world—yet the haunting sentimentality of his poetic voice still manages to soak us to the bone.

January Drought

It needn’t be tinder, this juncture of the year,
a cigarette flicked from car to brush.

The woods’ parchment is given
to cracking asunder the first puff of wind.
Yesterday a big sycamore came across First
and Hawthorne and is there yet.

The papers say it has to happen,
if just as dribs and drabs on the asbestos siding.
But tonight is buckets of stars as hard and dry as dimes.

A month’s supper things stacks in the sink.
Tea brews from water stoppered in the bath
and any thirst carried forward is quenched thinking you,
piece by piece, an Xmas gift hidden
and found weeks after: the ribbon, the box.

I have reservoirs of want enough
to freeze many nights over.

Conor O’Callaghan, from The Sun King (2013)


Categories: Conor O'Callaghan, Irish Poetry, Poem of the Week, Poetry

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