How We Were Transfigured

By Eavan Boland

Now when darkness starts
                                        in mid-afternoon,
when evening shows an unwelcome
                half-sliced winter moon
                                I remember days
when I never thought twice about
                                            what was farther off
                from the four walls of our
                            house, from the hills
above it, from our infant daughters sleeping
                                            in it or what lay
                in wait for us on the Irish Sea
                            as darkness moved up
and away and we slept late oblivious
                                            to the rain’s drizzle,
                the tap and flicker of it,
                            to what was coming
silently, insistently, to render
                            our lives visible to us again:
                                            light the builder,
light the maker, fitter of roofs to gutters,
                of the tree’s root
                            to the tree’s height,
                                            of earth to sky:
                            assembler of openings at
the river’s mouth and the mind’s eye.


"How We Were Transfigured", from THE HISTORIANS: POEMS by Eavan Boland. Copyright © 2020 by Eavan Boland. Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

"How We Were Transfigured" by Eavan Boland, from The Historians. Reproduced with kind permission of Carcanet Press.