Goddess of the Woods

For my grandmother Fredacy Pray
She kissed the woods with her
Celtic goddess ways a lady slipper
Hiding in the deep opened itself to
Her hungry knowing eyes past the
Dust of the dirt road past the dirt
Of her life screwed up with divorces
Harshness beyond belief her prayer
Was Erin’s isle before St. Patrick
Came and placed the whole country
In religious exile she carried the blood
Of women born with Bridget bones
Here after the potato famine
Here nothing but insane poverty of the
American depression landscape starvation
Induced immigration did not save
Her from harshness that
So many years of war had built into
The skin of her Irish DNA I loved
My grandmother, though she could
Not help but die of a brain tumor before I was two.

3 thoughts on “Goddess of the Woods

  1. a ladyslipper would open itself to her, yet her life seemed saturated with difficulties which even followed her across an ocean. and this harshness took her life before one granddaughter had chance enough to know her, to be a balm to her.

    “luck of the irish,” they say.


    • Nicely unraveled, Ed. That’s why sometimes I hate watching Irish films, but it is a thread running through the Irish culture and that of my ancestors. I don’t think this poem is finished. It is a by-product of my work on a memoir.


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