As is the Custom
Each island emigrant got a bonfire.
Their family stacked what little drift-
wood could be found on the shore.
When the ship passed by, they set
alight all they had scraped together.
The traveller saw the light; somehow
felt its warmth. Those left behind
choked on the smoke.
Stephanie Conn is a former teacher and graduate of the MA programme at the Seamus Heaney Centre, She recently won the Yeovil Poetry Prize, the Funeral Service NI prize and the inaugural Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing. Her first collection, The Woman on the Other Side is published by Doire Press and was shortlisted for the Shine/Strong Award for best first collection. Her pamphlet Copeland’s Daughter won the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition and is published by Smith/Doorstep.