The Mass

In December’s post, A language learner’s traveller’s tale,  a poem written by the author, David Harris, in response to his experience attending Mass while at the Rinn, County Waterford Daonscoil along with other international students, was inadvertently omitted.

We apologise for this error. Here is the full version of the poem.

An tAifreann (The Mass)

 ‘Tis a fine, soft mornin’ we’re havin’.’
Our world is a moisture-laden mist.
We trudge up hill in grey light.
Our boots collect mud from the path.
Dew-drops hang from the hedge leaves.
Spider webs are jewelled sculptures.

Rinn Catholic Church On the hill, the church.
Simple, practical, not ornate.
Cars continue to arrive.
Our friends have found a lift.
We join the locals, step inside.
Regulars take accustomed seats.
We take the back row.

 It’s in the Irish language.
We struggle with the words –
but not the service.  That’s familiar.
We follow, reading our responses
whispering our prayers
singing the hymns. 

This place links past and present.
We entered as foreigners.
We leave, as through a different door
now part of the community.
Part of the land.