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Thursday, 10 November 2016

what happened to - Poetry by Bill Hannan


what happened to

now is the season when magpies swoop
the experts say they remember our faces
so I guess I must be innocent
of whatever it is that irks them
they don’t swoop me
but they target Jack
who’s walking beside me
they must be he says
the conscience of the bush

as we stroll down the track he asks
what happened to Bernard
I haven’t seen him since he left us
to go into that monastery
was it Benedictine or Trappist
I know it was what they call enclosed
which is why we never saw him again

didn’t Tess go into an enclosed nunnery
somewhere in England or Ireland
she did but she came out
I had dinner with her once
did she talk about why she did it
she just remembers she wanted to
and can’t now work out why

but Bernard has stuck with it
have you ever speculated why
he left the world he enjoyed so much
for one we can’t imagine
year after year of prayer work and silence
yet we too believed all that once

Jack ducks as the magpie strikes

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