Leaning Forward

by Ciaran McDermott

I would like to challenge myself
To go further and deeper
Into the woods
To go far beyond and find
Inner resolve and strength
Strength that an officer’s words
Drilled into you
Standing there in the undergrowth
I’d like to eventually find my
Safe passage out of that dark forest
Out into the clearing
A clearing my mind once dreamed of
A collective notion of free will
Letting go of what stands to reason
Finding the will to carry on
Hope is a burgeoning prospect
One that floats on the breeze
I’d like to breathe that in one day
Standing abreast on that hill
Overseeing that green valley
Tomorrow whispered words of solace
You took a step back to wonder why

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem was composed in a Poetry as Commemoration workshop held at Sligo County Library in October 2023.  The workshop was led by writer Terry McDonagh.