St Brigit's day marks the first Quarter Day of the year, a time of the first stirrings and awakenings of new life. Perhaps each renewal is a time for looking back to what has formed us and for questioning who we are.
Are you the language that you speak
or the one your parents spoke,
the one you never learned?
Are you the land you live in now
or the one that lives inside their bones,
the one that they call home?
Are you the kind of fruit you eat,
that prospers in this soil?
Are you the stories that your parents feed you
before they disappear,
a film of moist silt in your memory?
Or are you more a conduit, a colour
and a shape, a lightning-flash
that you hand on to others?
Mixing chalk and water with imagination,
are you vivid with light,
and warm too – with light?
Names fade it seems,
tossed out with the rind of mandarins,
lemons and pomegranates -
while what you live of sun
and stars – remains.