Eavan Boland (Photo: RTE)

Poem: Ready for Fight (Version)


From this I will not sway nor flop nor halt:

If around your heart the crowds are sparse,

And I who follow him now free or shelter

Am proud to come to a more tempered place,


And if a blunder starts to come to me

Dispatched by you, crying that all is crumpled

Underarm, theories smashed, the entry

Into hallowed places crudely hashed,


Then I would come at once my love with love

Singing to waster areas the sight

Of horseflies and Swan Vestas and turtle necks

Their files raised like knuckles ready for fight.


In such surroundings, after the disease

Of devils, you and I would live a-piece.


(Apologies to Eavan Boland whose poem ‘Ready for Flight’ I have shamelessly versioned in the hope of commenting on a life, its loves and the battle to accommodate all. The original poem has long been a source of strength since I first read it in 1996 in a collection called ‘Irish Love Poetry’, published by Gill & Macmillan Ltd).

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