Matt Rader



        For John Ennis

My first day in Hightown we called on the fields
Where your people seeded and reseeded the grass
For centuries: the forge field where your boy
Hopes to build a new home, where horse teams
Were hayed and re-shod on the highway between
Dublin and Galway; the hurling field or field
For dancing where the long-bearded pipers played
In the evening with the fiddler down the boreen;
And the Lone Bush field where you’ve asked
Your children to leave your remains with the un-
Named babies beneath the thorn — the stillborns,
Aborts, unbaptized — where your man from Aran
Blessed the unmarked graves, where your father
Staggered one night and returned, unable to speak.


MATT RADER is the author of three books of poems, most recently, A Doctor Pedalled Her Bicycle Over the River Arno (House of Anansi 2011). He lives in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island on Canada’s Pacific coast.


Read more by Matt Rader:

Poem in  The Toronto Review of Books
Poem in Forget Magazine
Story in The Rusty Toque