Paul F. McCann


Searching for inner space a million miles
away from Purdysburn’s front door.
I begged my feet to keep on walking
down a road I’d never walked before.

The snow fell as my tumbled thoughts escaped,
imprisoned not by fear or pain.
I was running free from the guilt of life
until it called me back again.

My mind like a quiet laundry
washed all of my impurities clean:
Half way between Saintfields Road
and the gates of hell – if you know what I mean.

I hung up on an invisible line,
my heart that none had heard speak.
On a wrought iron gate I saw soft snow
implanted by a robin redbreast’s feet.

Banished like clouds from the sky where
I wished I could fly and never return.
Behind my finger I could not hide,
on the long road back to Purdysburn.

Fly away my robin redbreast
until you find rest in your new home.
Beside me an icy sheet covered the Lagan
and I felt so all alone.

The silent peace of trees bleak and bare
covered me with soft serenity.
A rekindled spirit refreshed my mind
and returned me to sanity.

Reflections in windowpanes of institutions
are so easily sold,
to those on their way out of Purdysburn
where some lives on a thread unfold.