Seamus Heaney


It kept treading air, as if it were a ghost with claims on us,
precipitating in the heat tremor. Then, released from its dis-
torting mirror, up the fields there comes this awkwardly smiling
foreigner, awkwardly received, who gentled the long Sunday
afternoon just by sitting with us.
        Where are you now, real visitant, who vivified ‘parole’ and
‘POW’? Where are the rings garnetted with bits of toothbrush,
the ships in bottles, the Tyrol landscapes globed in electric bulbs?
        ‘They’ve hands for anything, these Germans.’
He walked back into the refining lick of the grass, behind
the particular judgements of captor and harbourer. As he walks
yet, feeling our eyes on his back, treading the air of the image
he achieved, released to his fatigues.