Saint Coleman’s Song for Flight/An Ite Missa Est

© By Padraic Fiacc

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for Nancy and Brigid – flown

Run like rats from the plague in you.
Before death it is no virtue to be dead.
The crannog in the water, anywhere at all sure!
It is no virtue and it is not nature
To wait to writhe into the ground.

Not one in the Bible could see these dead
Packed on top of the other like dung
Not the two Josephs in Egypt
But would not run!

And Christ’s blessing follow
(Is it not a blessing to escape storm?)

Pray to old Joseph – not a witless man –
Who had the brains not to want to die

But when his time came only and at home in bed,
The door shut on the world, that wolf outside
Munching the leper’s head.

© Padraic Fiacc, Saint Coleman’s Song for Flight/An Ite Missa Est 1977

Padraic Fiacc returns to the theme of how unbearable life had become in Belfast during the Troubles and saying there is no shame in fleeing the place.

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