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Joseph

by Peter Humphreys

there was no doubting it
we were late
far too late
Maire had been ill all summer
and now
we were out
on the bog
late harvesting our turf
for the winter

all around us
the cotton grass
was weary
having been blasted
many months
from the West

down on the lowland
lights were coming on
scattered
like stars in the firmament
my hands were blistered by the spade
and the child exhausted
helping Maire
stack the cart

behind us
the mist was closing
rolling slowly
down the hill
flowing
like fog
in the bay
beneath
you could not now see the Stags any more
only the Mullet light

time to move to safety

it was getting cold
the back felt it
before the hands
just at the nape of the neck
the base of the spine
that chill

it was time to go
before everything
was lost
turf and all
no rescue here
at least 'til dawn

maybe just time to return
to the safety of our hearth
over disappearing paths

the child held my hand so tightly
I kissed his head
to relieve the fear
Maire crooned a song
to keep us warm
distracted from the descent
the risks were great
we had left it too late
but maybe not

Grand-dad, what happened next

the turf sparked

We will just have to see

Off to bed now before the mist catches us

I shot into bed
blanket over my head

I just loved the way,
he told me those old
Bible stories

06/27/2009

Posted on 06/27/2009
Copyright © 2023 Peter Humphreys

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Dave Fitzgerald on 07/02/09 at 06:49 PM

Peter you should really get to work on a novel. You powers of description are awesome. I can stand on a hill in my mind and look down upon the landscape you paint. Great work mate. Honestly.

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