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May 17, 2017 / hbrowne4

An Caoineadh by Brid Mary Harnett

220px-Banshee_by_Philippe_SemeriaAn caoineadh, finality, a shriek, a wail of odes, some of which may never be told. The caoineadh, an gol mar a deirtear, unleashing the souls of those dearest to the earth of Ire, of tribes long forgotten, combed out and whittled by the banshee until all cultural marks of identification transpire and evaporate into the moist gentle air of this same island, a sister land to the land of the smallest most lithe gazelle, crowned with antlers, who watches, turning its well-formed head, until it is caused to flee. Then it escapes. L’echappe, and this is the nature of the people of the natural sense of being of Ire, lauded, not reviled and pedestaled in quietude.

I am home, the daughter of Cuchulain, of Dedriu, who beckons from heights around our land. An caoineadh, signifying the finality, for when a woman in pain shrieks from the deepest place within, her release is irretrievable. It reaches the sky and befalls those lurking to cause her harm. And silence aches the staring white cat and the frivolity of the goose as the banshee’s scream shrieks into the night and the soul is signposted home. And so I rub my hands with the finest perfumes of Arabia to sweeten them- just a little- and delight may sing no more for me.

Sin a bhfuil, sin a bhfuil, sin a bhfuil. Fling the smoothest white pebbles to the sands, for perhaps they may never cleanse the essence of the cry of the soul of the banshee. Moladh go beo le Dia. I ask God that my last release will filter out of my mouth in a silken wave of the sweetest smelling musk and flare into the brightest light, that there will be no screech for me, daughter of Mc ConMidhe. And this mark cannot be erased from me, not even with salt.

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