by Emily Murtagh

Last summer I stayed for a night in a monastery near Waterford  
pretending to be a Catholic so as not to be a disappointment,
I was, for that time, set free from any decision but to be there.

Gentle bells called me to meals, suggested I wake at 4 am to pray
And I consented. I stood there sad, tried to follow the Latin words
watching six men, in the last years of their lives, turn over words

they had turned and turned over for lifetimes, and I envied them. 
One big decision, staving off the wolves of thousands of little ones
like what to have for breakfast, who to love, and for how long –


Emily Murtagh is an Irish writer based in Dublin. Her poems have been published in The Round Tower Review, the Kilkenny Broadsheet and featured in the CS Lewis themed curation of the Poetry Jukebox in Belfast. She is a previous winner of the Irish Writers Centre Marian Keyes Young Writer Award.

Image: Sophie

Image description: white ceiling of a chapel shown from a low angle.

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