written by Barbara Dunne. Barbara is a writer, artist and facilitator living in the Connemara Gaelteacht. She is a widowed parent. Her poetry has been most recently published in Drawn to the Light Press, New Word Order, orangepeel, HOWL 23; New Irish Writing and the Storms Journal. She is currently working on her debut poetry collection.

Early morning. Wellies on. Unheeding
The wet. Through dew drenched fields
To get there in time for the milking.

The first, a poppy filled scalene triangle
With our house, cut in the same corner
As the ghost remains of a famine cottage.

The second, a rushy meadow where
Reluctant followers of a fungi fervent father.
We picked field mushrooms in November.

In Spring it floods and a lake lands.
The temporary home to a bevy of swans,
Drifting across its wind rippled body.

It’s July, the field is a bog pasture
For milch cows, who raise their heads
From pulling grass to watch us passing through,

Uninterested in our headlong rush
They descend again. Over another gate
Into the drilled potato field, guarded

By Billy the long-haired black goat
With his crooked corkscrew horns
And a reputation that keeps us apart.

Then we turn up the haggard
With its door, high on the wall
Creaking. We pass the totem

Biscuit tin, framed in the pane
Of the fuel-filled shed window.
Around the pebbledash corner

We slow, to pick our way
Over the spattered cobbled
Path and slide under the arch

Of the cold stone milking parlour.
We are forced to stop by the
Heavy hum of fresh milk

And sour dung. The welcome
Of Mickey, caught in a shaft of straw
Laden light, sleeves rolled up,

Hands resting on the bony rump
Of a cow, while the swallows
Streak overhead. Origami in motion.

CategoriesIssue VIII