the moment


The moment when,

after many years 
of hard work

and a long voyage

you stand in the centre of your room,

house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,

knowing at last how you got there,

and say,

I own this,

is the same moment

when the trees unloose 
their soft arms from around you,

the birds take back their language,

the cliffs fissure and collapse,

the air moves back from you like a wave

and you can’t breathe.

No, they whisper.

You own nothing.

You were a visitor,

time after time

climbing the hill,

planting the flag,


We never belonged to you.

You never found us.

It was always the other way round.

image credit:  along the kerry way – ireland

poetry credit: Margaret Atwood