LOOKING OVER WEXFORD BRIDGE

By Deirdre McGarry



I thought I saw him coming towards me briefly

across the water out of a seafret

not in the water but on it

crossing from Begerin or where it used to be

towards the moored up trawlers and tacky muddled jumble

of Georgian grandeur and purple funland

where he disappeared


And I wondered why he felt the need

to emerge again from Ibar’s adopted home

that yew coloured visitor who made his home

here before Patrick

having travelled I guess from the deserts of Egypt via Wales

looking for some far flung place to prove

that God is everywhere and anywhere

and sometimes worst of all nowhere to be found


I know his hard hermit of a life was of value

whether we in Wexford knew it or not

that he imbued this place with his struggle and his search

and that his blessing rests in the soil

we transported and disrespected centuries later

to make way for boats and to create the North Slobs


Is it any wonder the geese

the wild geese symbols of the Holy spirit

whose migration routes we cannot plot

those wild geese

come to rest each year on that soil where his soul seeped?


And why should I be surprised

at the reappearance of that man walking on water ?

water where Cromwell’s victims were driven to drown

who clung to their faith in spite of him and felt his wrath


And this bridge where I see the miracle

also saw the bodies of men swinging

men who were hung at the whim of a frenzied mob in ’98

when the devil became incarnate

and for what?


The trouble is so many are drawn now

to the dark water

are tempted to seek oblivion rather than a Saviour

are seduced by the lure of suicide as a solution


Could this man who walks on water

cleanse this water of its death spirit

reinvigorate this town and land?


You know I think he could

I think this man and the Holy Spirit have that power

I really do

Do you?