Voices on the Wind
The three of them (from Pound Laundry)
by Michael Gregory
So the three of them—Lugh, the Dagda
and Manannan mac Lir one late mid-May
afternoon were walking in the earth
when an old peat-bogger out tending his hives
saw them and though having not the slightest
who they were or what their business here
where the only snakes are those in office
invited them to share his fire that night
as was the custom in those more courteous times.
While the cabbage and turnips boiled
the jar went round a time or two and Lugh
told him. Once he recovered, Paddy
good as any Greek sacrificed
the one bullock he’d had to plow his field.
As that taurine aroma filled the cottage
Lugh asked him what he would have if he could.
Though he would he said keep his word to his late wife
not to remarry he’d be glad all the same he said
of a son to bring light to his remaining nights.
After passing the jar so many times
you would have thought it should be dry, and so
enjoying the bull you would think it would be gone,
the three took up the fresh hide and pissed in it,
laid it with a wave of hands and signs
in the grave of the old man’s wife
then left without a word. Ten months later
the hide was reborn as the handsomest son ever
to gaze on the moon, a fair-faced lad the father
named with a twinkle in his eye O’Ryan.