An Evening, Late September
The light through my studio window,
beckons. On my swivel chair,
I stare onto the old railway track.
A tangle of briars, bracken and ivy leaves,
tea stained with September’s close,
weave and coil a loop of hostility.
Come morning, it will be October.
You would have been thirty-eight
next week, on the seventh.
The rusty tracks like coppery trees,
the sleepers split and crumbled.
I’m surprised they remain, not reclaimed
for a garden bed or border in an urban landscape.
Woodlice scurry under mulch and rotting foliage,
back and forth, as if on timber beams.
The playhouse roof glittered
with last night’s frost in the midday sun,
gifted the lawn a dusting of silver.
The starling chorus on overhead wires
chirruped a cacophony of sky,
the sonic texture told me the time
and blackberry droppings scattered
far and wide tell me there’s a turning.
A landscape burning golds and umbers,
sage, pea and bottle-green hues,
so vivid and rich and fleeting.
Saying farewell to grief
is as wrenching as grief itself
and like the trees, I’m fallen
with all my colours, waiting,
waiting for spring.
My Sister’s Green Shoes
They lie on the lower rung
of the shoe rack, with a layer of dust.
The colour of pea soup, mange tout
and under ripe bananas, or the sea
at Kinnagoe on a glorious day.
Once you’ve seen salt water like that,
you realise anything’s possible.
I’m unsure you wore them at all
with their round toes and garish rosettes,
they screamed twin-sets and blue rinses.
I took a few of your tops, a blouse
I did not particularly like,
knew our mother wouldn’t donate
them to the local charity shop,
but one miles and miles away
I see your slow, sad gait
walking away in my dreams,
in footwear without any socks.
But I cannot get rid of those shoes,
a size too big and no use to me.
Sometimes I slip them on,
shuffle around in my room at night,
the wine carpet muffles my steps.
A sliver of comfort
in a silver world, where you
weren’t meant to go grey after me.
Lorraine Carey is a poet and artist from Donegal. Widely published in journals and anthologies including Poetry Ireland Review, Orbis, The Honest Ulsterman, Prole, Skylight 47, Smithereens and on Poethead, her art has been featured in many journals. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her debut collection is From Doll House Windows (Revival Press).