Reading Heaney

No need to get carried away the voice
says meaning there’ll be time enough for that
life anyway a slow leak back into
stars from that first edge-of-the-world place

bog-rooted and hedged in cow-quivering sleet
and the imperative to keep weather out

along with such novelties and courtesies
and verities of tongue as horse traders use

language come up to look men in the eye
across the pasture gate and slow reticence

of educated hands attaching fact
to fact all the way back to the Bog Woman

in his death necklace—
                                               though the boy looks out
enthralled by the imperative of dawn

to stop thinking to start it all again—
hear the poem knotted up in the sheep’s bleat

or the valley’s clattering first hooves of light