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                                                            John Noonan
Father, you are a copper beech, 
undercut and bundle-tied on the bicycle bar, 
replanted inside a white gateway, 
roots splayed finger-like in sandy soil, 
an exile from some hillslope that sprouted you. 
Mumble with summer sweat in hay fields 
where the curse of the prickly sow thistle grows. 
Inside the garden, a spaded clay-white potato in my hand,  
feel its solid cold nourishment of who you are  
speaking to me from October’s wet ground. 
Mother, you are the fuchsia 
beneath a red headscarf, singing on the wide laneway, 
arrived as a seed in a black bird’s beak or waltzed over hedges. 
Was it his unshaven face you saw like a stubbled barley field?  
or the hobnail boots that sparked off stone – 
a star from the edge of a distant galaxy? 
Family, you are a dappled grove, growing deep  
green before you become suspended, like golden 
leaves that somersault earthwards.