The Little Hills of Monaghan

D. Walsh Gilbert

When I see a mother
cup her newborn’s head
and rub
her palm across his crown,
I breathe in—
a scent remembered,
the musky wax of birth,
a tinge
of spilled milk.


This, the same scurf smell
scuffed from the drumlins
of Kavanagh’s
Inniskeen Road
as he walked.
Pollen dust
and last night’s mist
clinging to the hedges
and thickening
the bog-rich earth.


The Irish Times confirms
gold found in drill holes
in Clontibret,
lodes and ore assured,
mining to begin.
And the scalp
of the Cailleach’s child
will peel back.
And Kavanagh is rising
from his grave, keening
a lament
the threatened corn crake understands.

D. WALSH GILBERT is the author of Ransom and imagine the small bones (Grayson Books), Once the Earth had Two Moons (Cerasus Poetry), and forthcoming, [M]AR[Y] (Kelsay Books).

Her work has recently appeared in The Inflectionist Review, The Field Guide Poetry MagazineThe Lumiere ReviewBlack Fox Literary Magazine, and New Feathers Anthology,among others. She serves on the board of Riverwood Poetry Series, and as co-editor of Connecticut River Review.

She is a dual citizen of Ireland and the United States and lives in Connecticut with her husband but visits her homelands in County Monaghan as often as she can.

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