How I tried to resist them, these twisted roots

still deep in Contae an Chláir, with her cliffs

and crags, Stone Age rock tumbling into

the raging Atlantic shaping her western coast

her fierceness holds me fast always rearing

her head as questions like Medusa, snakes

that find me striking from my stillness

to ask why, to challenge, to stand up

for the downtrodden, to march and protest

the Aunties crossed the ocean, came in

               through Ellis Island, men turning to drink

               and the singing rails riding through the Midwest

               women raising families, fierce with their loving

               but rarely a word about missing Eire

               immigrants making their lives where they landed

               and never looking book although it kept me

glancing over my shoulder chasing shadows

from the long genealogy that fell from my mother’s lips

like some sacred litany told in a castle chapel

Black Irish waging war with Olde English sprinkled

with Mandan Sioux stirred into a bloody crone’s brew

that yet pumps through my veins, the very Atlantic

roaring and never calm, forever uprising.