The sun gives a nudge waking the boy and dog
as the dog stretches the boy takes down the rod.
Through the garden, spring green with the sun
glinting from grassy dew, a globe in each drop
reflecting the passing of the boy and the dog.
Over the pitted tarmac, an imprint of every
sheep in Wicklow sheared down the side.
The boy over the gate, the dog jumps through,
onto a track untainted by wheels, dwindling down
to a youthful skittering stream.
Over the small stone bridge, the water under
as transparent as the achingly blue sky,
the gorse reflecting a blinding sun.
The boy treads carefully over soft bog,
light steps onto unsteady clumped reeds.
One false move and its into the cloying muck,
sucking deep, like quicksand on The Virginian.
The dog bounds ahead, stops, waits.
The track ends at the abandoned house
whose caved-in roof is an old person’s mouth.
Another gate to pass before green gives way to blue.
There is a poison on the land and
the rabbits, plagued with wide white eyes,
melt away from the dog. Arthritic limbs
carrying them deep into self-dug graves.
A fox watches, keen eyed, not enticed by
rotten food or scared of a small knight armed
with his lance and trusty mastiff.
The fox lollops off, tail erect ready to
brush off death under a hunter’s moon.
The boy and the dog both scent the water,
steps quicken, anticipating.
The boy baits the hook while the dog
watches, ears pricked ready for
the first splash into the river.
The man and the young boy with
careful steps over well-trod ground
The man lifts the boy over the lapsing gate.
No rabbits. No fox. No dog,
but the sheep encroach everywhere.
The young boy runs, each step a wave
over rocks as the stream gallops alongside
in full spate down to the river.
The young boy baits the hook,
casts into the still water at the river’s bend.
The man looks into the water
and sees, reflected back,
a boy and a dog.
Read Full Post »