Thursday, 20 December 2018

Christmas Work

The kind of work that only you could do,
that’s what you do. What choice have you?
Hours of waiting around that might seem
pointless to the passer-by, but mean
everything to those who understand the cost
of land and property. In winter, when the days
grow short, when villages turn in on themselves,
you remain like a scarecrow after harvest,
for there is still a job to do, a principle
at stake to be maintained. You stand
as a warning to the displaced and the weary
to keep out and stay out; and as a threat
to the righteous to mind their business,
to keep on driving past the empty house,
the barren fields; ignore the shadowed men,
the dogs, the unmarked vans, and keep their eyes
on the road ahead, the winking lights of home.

© Brian Kirk

Brian Kirk is a poet from Dublin. His first collection After The Fall was published by Salmon Poetry in 2017. His poem Birthday was awarded Poem of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2018.