Saturday, January 31, 2015

Poem in Fathers' Anthology

I have a poem in the recently published anthology fathers and what must be said. Copies are available on the Rebel Poetry (Cork) website.

Fathers’ Work

Dreams and bent shoulders,
work and free in the same sentence,
hard iron over their graves,
the nine to fivers, in fact he left
before eight and returned at six,
on Saturdays at one.
Then the home front – conacre,
spade-land, potato-ground, turbary,
gavelkind – potato planting to pitting
in Coleman’s far field, cutting
to toting home on Black’s bog;
temporary holdings.
He lost his hand estate mowing
sliced by his own sharpened blade;
sometimes blamed the first day
of the Somme to interest ladies.
Small compensation, no medals
for such as he.
He lost his leg power from years
on thatched roofs at the damp end
of autumn attempting late repairs
to hold off winter downpours
for farmers who had been
too busy harvesting.
Toil and timekeeping, dawn to
the going down, no time to stare
at the mountain’s changing shades,
wind beat through the gap
silenced by the thrum of tasks,
retirement a guilty luxury.
Michael Farry

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