That love of hospitality 
                                                 & the old Irish 
passion for food and drink            (good food, 
good drinking, wine undiluted, 
                                                      & the affectionate serving of them,
                                                      the highly colored clothes,
                                                      bright flashing of 
swords & jewels, the lavish feasting
of the Irish sagas        became
in you a marvellous hand at cooking, an accurate wrist for
sauces,      meticulous fingers for degrees of
spices,      an eye for textures, balances, matching of
surfaces and shapes—whether in food or clothing, furniture
or walls: stone, wood or wool,        patterns
or threads, knots, planks or ropes, 
                                                         & in 
the clothes you wore: the blue-green shirts, 
                                                                         the odorous
leather gloves, the shoes
                                        & in the colors of your house:
                                        pale-yellows, grays, 
the good dark oak of the table made to
your design, well-polished after sanding, waxed & rubbed
                           with natural stains
                           the colors I still think of 
after many years as colors of home. 
                                                             Out of
that world you came, after two thousand years
of feasting, oaths, high festivals, great merriment
& vows never to be broken,
                                          & the colors of your eyes, skin, 
hair taken from the early Irish heroes, their cheeks the
color of berries or
the color of snow—hair red-gold,
eyes blue as the sea you loved to
sail with knowing hands, holding
the tiller, lashing sheets, hands
both delicate & strong,