To a Neighbor Back from War by Donal Mahoney

First of all, your mind.
The chimes must stop,
the drums, the horns,
as well. Finally, the long,
the wild parade
of mummers crazed
you must spade off
the way my Daddy,
years ago,
when I was four,
on a bright St. Patrick’s Day,
turned the soil in Mother’s garden,
cursed the British
one more time
then drove his spade,
while Mommy screamed,
through the neck
of a garden snake.

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