Tuesday, 24 August 2021

The Clearing
Late Summer 1938

by Raine Geoghegan

We used to walk out together on dark nights, to get away from the talk of war.  Ee’ called it the ‘mothering darkness’ and said that nothin’ could ‘arm us while we were together. I would trip over stumps and stones and ‘ee’d tighten ‘is grip and say. ‘Yer alright wiv me.’ We talked a lot about each of our dad’s, things they said, and their mannerisms. Mine would pretend ‘ee was boxin’, ‘is fists would come up an’ ‘ee’d lunge at yer. Alf laughed and said ‘ee knew a few chal’s that used to do that. ‘Is dad used to chew on a matchstick then spit it out on the floor, funny ‘cause now I look back that’s exactly what Alf did once we was married. As the black of the night lifted and the moon sneaked through the clouds, we saw what was in front of us, we saw it clear as day an’ when we came to the clearin’, I leaned in close, smellin’ the fresh scent of soap on ‘im and the woody smell of the poove. ‘Ee said:

    ‘Look at that moon Ame, there ain’t nuthin’ like it in the ‘ole world’ 

* * * * *

Glossary: Chals – men; Poove – field.

Raine Geoghegan, M.A. is a poet & prose writer of Romany, Welsh and Irish descent. Nominated for the Forward Prize, Best of the Net & the Pushcart Prize, her work has been published online and in print with Poetry Ireland Review; Travellers’ Times; Under the Radar; SkyLight47; Poethead and more. Apple Water: Povel Panni was launched in 2018 listed as a Poetry Book Society Spring 2019 Selection. They Lit Fires: Lenti Hatch O Yog was published in 2019, Hedgehog Poetry Press. Her full collection, The Talking Stick: O Pookering Kosh will be published with Salmon Poetry Press in 2022.

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