I am haunted by the names
of foreign places: Lvov and its bells;
Galway with its shimmer of green;
Grudnow and Minsk
where my grandfather’s famished face
belongs on the tarnished coins.

I am haunted by the weight of all those histories:
coronations and christenings; massacres,
famines—people shoveled
under the dark earth, just so much compost,
the lowly potato failing in Ireland,
like daylight itself failing at noon.