by Eavan Boland
How will I know you in the underworld?
How will we find each other?
We lived for so long on the physical earth–
Our skies littered with actual stars
Practical tides in our bay–
What will we do with the loneliness of the mythical?
Walking beside the ditches brimming with dactyls,
By a ferryman whose feet are scanned for him
On the shore of a river written and rewritten
As elegy, epic, epode.
Remember the thin air of our earthly winters?
Frost was an iron, underhand descent.
Dust was always in session
And no one needed to write down
Or restate, or make record of, or ever would,
And never will,
The plainspoken message of recognition,
Nor the way I often stood at the window–
The hills growing dark, saying,
As a shadow became a stride
And a raincoat was woven out of streetlight
I would know you anywhere.
You can find this poem in A Woman Without A Country.