Unplanned Pilgrimage by Mary Ellen Talley

St Brigid's Well kildare 003L

Unplanned Pilgrimage
by Mary Ellen Talley

When the parking lot attendant
says the Cliffs of Moher
are hiding and a visit
might be a pea soup
waste of euros,
we stop nearby to view
St. Brigid’s Holy Well
where Virgin Mary statues
in front of falling water
are laden with petitions,
rosary necklaces,
and strands of Mardi Gras beads.

Time for another stop,
off to Ennistymon
to visit Salmon Bookshop
on Parliament Street
where brimming rooms of poetry,
fairy garden out back,
sprawling dog Zeke,
and a friendly expat reside.
We would’ve stayed for days
to catch music and a brew come evening
but we left to drive
across the Burren landscape before dark.

Green with envy of myself
for travels past
I hear from Zeke’s expat owner
of her Covid stroll — she and Zeke
along the Cliffs of Moher,
they lone visitors on a day so clear
Galway Bay and Aran Islands
each bright visage in the distance.
She wouldn’t venture to the Cliffs
for years, but now,
with all the tourists gone, she can
reclaim the Cliff walk to herself.

PHOTO: St. Brigid’s Holy Well, Kildare, Ireland by megalithireland.com.

NOTE: For more about St. Brigid’s Holy Well, visit megalithireland.com.

pic of ME with fuschias copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Ellen Talley’s poems have appeared widely in publications including Raven Chronicles,  Gyroscope, Flatbush Review, and Banshee, as well as in several poetry anthologies. Her poems have received two Pushcart nominations. A chapbook, Postcards from the Lilac City, was published by Finishing Line Press in October 2020. She spent three weeks in Ireland in 2018 and yearns to return.

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