The scar

c505218304b50c59c3659f6dda43bae7-links-13–>c505218304b50c59c3659f6dda43bae7-links-12–>c505218304b50c59c3659f6dda43bae7-links-11–>c505218304b50c59c3659f6dda43bae7-links-10–>c505218304b50c59c3659f6dda43bae7-links-9–>c505218304b50c59c3659f6dda43bae7-links-8–>c505218304b50c59c3659f6dda43bae7-links-7–>c505218304b50c59c3659f6dda43bae7-links-6–>c505218304b50c59c3659f6dda43bae7-links-5–>c505218304b50c59c3659f6dda43bae7-links-4–>c505218304b50c59c3659f6dda43bae7-links-3–>c505218304b50c59c3659f6dda43bae7-links-2–>c505218304b50c59c3659f6dda43bae7-links-1–>c505218304b50c59c3659f6dda43bae7-links-0–>p class=”MsoNormal”>There’s not a chance now that I might recover

one syllable of what that sick man said,

tapping upon my great-grandmother’s shutter,

and begging, I was told, a piece of bread;

for on his tainted breath there hung infection

rank from the cabins of the stricken west,

the spores from black potato-stalks, the spittle

mottled with poison in his rattling chest;

but she who, by her nature, quickly answered,

accepted in return the famine-fever;

and that chance meeting, that brief confrontation,

conscribed me of the Irishry for ever.


Though much I cherish lies outside their vision,

and much they prize I have no claim to share,

yet in that woman’s death I found my nation;

the old wound aches and shows its fellow scar.

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