This stranger to me was found twisted in a Sligo skip,
I think of her untroubled skin, children now motherless,
the smell of her clothes in the wardrobe.
Three days missing. Strangled with her tights. Husband suspected,
As we drive on I fold the newspaper, notice a woman standing alone:
one raw flash of her window.
Neighbours keep up the distance. The curlew’s call is underhand.
The river a wound where cut peat dries
as we hurtle through the dusk to Donegal.
I carried with me the effort that it takes to live out there, far from roads.
The sky soiled where mountains form a slab.
For once I was glad to be gone. The sun left bloodily and I began to doze.
I woke lying in that skip, until I saw a road slice away beneath.
I’d forgotten the car: the fug of too long inside,
sweet wrappers, an empty coke can at a roll. I was jolted sick.
The woman’s face nagged like an affecting tune.
I was going towards her. I was sure we would meet