Allen Lee Ireland
Allen Lee Ireland's poetry collection Loners and Mothers explores the
complicated psychology of loners within a variety of contexts, their obsession
with family, and their many means of escape from what they perceive as a dark
and frightening world. Like the woods in Frost's famous poem, Ireland's verse
has been called "lovely, dark, and deep." Yet, through it all, there is respect
for existence and an abiding concern for the individual life.
A lone wolf crying in the wilderness
Will die. Where are the others?
He is not crying for himself.
He's crying for his brothers.
A wolf thrives only in a pack.
It's not the same with men:
The lone man lives for an eternity
And only cries within.
Five deer were gathered for a private meeting
This evening at the bottom of the lawn.
I opened the back door and yelled a greeting:
The buck let out a snort, and all were gone.
A hunter, then, for trophy or for table,
Might have unleashed his rifle's dormant power.
A nodding grandmother, if she were able,
Might have stayed up to watch them for an hour.
An artist might have taken brush or pencil
And drawn them in the beauty of the season.
But I'm the fiend, the aberrant, the rebel.
I violated Nature for no reason
So she returned to incubate her egg.
But another bird had gotten to it first,
Giving the fragile shell a little poke
With his sharp beak, then sucking out the yolk,
Which rained down through the branches of the oak.
But still, the urge to nurture was so strong
She moved one leg, and then the other leg,
And sat down gently on the broken egg.
Like the mother who feels that something’s very wrong
With her young son—some detriment unseen,
Some curled, dark abortion deep within—
And, even when she knows she cannot save,
Holds him through life, builds up, encourages …
Then warms the frozen grass beside his grave.