Katrina Kaye

They said it was
impregnable, but
we wandered in.
They left the portcullis raised
and cannon balls protruding.
We shuffled past
musket holes
and bow slits,
through the village,
towards the inner ward,
and into the keep.

We passed over with
an invader’s freedom.
We crept through it all,
sneaking into every crack,
like rats,
or lice.

We danced in the Great Hall
and raced to the top of the fortress walls.
From there we could see the
door they used to escape
when the siege broke and
the fires caught hold.

We passed the slick stones
and low ceilings of the jail.
Then crept up the narrow stairs
to the top of the tower.

We watched the Suir pushing around us.
We named a herring
that fished up stream
and for a moment
this was our world.

Then, like so many before us,
we were gone.

“Cahir” is previously published in A Scattering of Imperfections (2009).