Smerwick by Bernadette McCarthy

'...the Scandinavians used 'butter’ as a term of praise for land...It appears that Muirbech was originally the name for the whole bay and its coastline, and that smjör-vik is an Old-Norse realisation.’
Sheehan, J., Stumann Hansen, S., and -- Corrain, D. 2001. 'A Viking Age maritime haven: a reassessment of the island settlement at Beginish, Co. Kerry’.

You stop on the moon-slick sand
and turn to Ballinrannig.
'There’s too much light’.
A stone’s throw between us
then another, and another
as you skim back the strand
to check the electric blanket.

I stare at the amber smear
of windowpanes and wonder
did those women feel the same
stone-slump in the belly
as the butter vik was consumed
by a Northern fleet?

A wheyed shade, slipshodding,
curds up into you.

All Rights Reserved--2007-2024