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16 October 2014
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Clare O'Reilly

Clare has had a poem published in the Sunday Tribune (Hennessy Literary Awards) and has come second in the Cecil Day Lewis Awards adult poetry. She is a primary school teacher (for her sins!) and teaches Senior Infant Girls (aged five-six years). She loves writing, particularly poetry, especially enjoys the Northern Irish poets, e.g. Paul Muldoon.

Bog Woman by Clare O'Reilly

The farmer who found you with his mechanical digger
Dredging a drain to cut the turf, said you had perfect nails,
Hands reaching out across time and space, marinated by brown peat, still beautiful

Croghan Hill, my climbing frame, picnics, rhymes, fences, watching for the camouflage of bog holes that sucked you in, birds I never heard in town, squidge of peat in rubber boots, wet feet

I walked over your grave bog woman, brooch wearer, child bearer
What wayward wandering brought you across my uncharted path, centuries on?
Preserved in your peat womb, I sensed you there watching down deep, waiting for birth

Speak to me, my Croghan Queen,
I have waited for you, ancient friend

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