Learning A Fourth Language

I am climbing the Irish skill tree
on Duolingo. I’m still on the basics.

Na cailiní, na fir, óleann uisce,
tá úll agat, that kind of thing.

I’ve been told I have Irish blood
in me, somewhere. I like to think

it’s concentrated in my shins,
the tibia and fibula, the marrow.

I was passed up for a college-sponsored
trip to Ireland two years ago.

I was too irritable, had already
gone abroad, and I was full of hate.

Now that I am a bit closer to full
of an old language, even its slightly

duller official version, and this tongue
belongs to people who precipitated me,

I might make my own leap across
the ocean this time, go where the stones

are still wreathed in life, where grass
is not greener per se but there is a

certain sense of history about the earth,
the lingering myth, whispers of the dead.

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