Literary Hub is counting down the days until the seventh-annual Irish Arts Center PoetryFest begins by publishing a poem, as selected by festival co-curator Belinda McKeon.
Empty Space Poem, Eighteen Months, by Kerry Hardie
for my brother, Paddy
In the photo there’s a child astride your shoulders.
You are moving through the cut-gold of a field.
The hedgerow trees are thickening and darkening.
The sky’s a constant, clear, heraldic blue.
You are on the right side, walking slowly.
The left side of the meadow’s deep and still.
I’ve cut it down the middle, framed and hung it.
We pass you every time we climb the stairs.
Which leaves the empty half for me to deal with:
the empty field, the hedgerow trees, the sky.
I’ve framed that, too, I keep it on the shelf
above my desk, slipped in between two books.
I tell myself you’re everywhere around me.
That summer is still sumptuous, people die.
These are the separated halves of the same picture.
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