Derek Mahon


No doubt the creation was something like this--
A cold day breaking on silent stones,
Slower than time, spectacular only in size.
First their is darkness, then somehow light;
We call this day, and the other night,
And watch in vain for the second of sunrise.

Suddenly, near at hand, the click of a wooden shoe--
An old woman among the primeval shapes
Abroad in the field of light, sombrely dressed.
She calls good-day, since there are bad days too,
And her eyes go down. She has seen perhaps
Ten thousand dawns like this, and is not impressed.

                        --from Four Walks in the Country
                           Near Saint-Brieuc, 1

Derek Mahon, Selected Poems, Penguin Books, 2006.