The Renfe

The old train to Santander is dirty and a mixture of red and white.
The lights above take turns working,
But they are unneeded.
For the light in Spain is plentiful and pure.
Departing from Bilbao:
A station green and gothic.
It reminds me of old Connolly
Where the trains whip to Kildare.
Just a month ago I felt God on the beach of Howth,
We had talked and eaten fried fish along the Castle…
And now I see the Spanish,
The leafy cabbage of Villaviciosa,
Not unlike wet Inishbofin,
And the sheep who listened and saw us as we spoke,
And those hellish hills now grown by love itself!
The Catholic Church made of sugar cubes and the leafy grass,
On the wall, the one hundred and eighty year old priest talked about love of life,
And Christ I thought about Clonmacnoise,
And the cows yelling at the Shannon
As it snowed, we watched the broad snaking river.
Three hours must I ride the Renfe.
Having had tea and croquetas,
Sleep will not come.
But the air outside is cool,
Spanish stretches rounded and yellow,
Trees are green,
And crushed wood houses line the tracks,
Just like the banks of the Bann.

By Liam Miyar Mullan