Tuesday, May 5, 2009


With milking done
And the sweet warm liquid
Added to yesterday’s bread and peelings
To make swill for the sow,
The two cows would be slapped down the drive
And out onto the road,
Like two lazy sons being urged to find work.
Up the road or down, as they wished,
They ambled, with a calm, unhurried air,
Discussing the soft weather.
On occasions, as I came up from Two Mile Water
For a spot of lunch, I’d pass them,
Grinning in a ditch or in Delahunty’s yard
Or, worse case scenario, Jackie Hagen’s garden.
“Any sign of de cows?” he’d grunt,
Spitting on the range and stirring his thick tay,
One ear cocked to the shenanigans on Harbour Hotel.
In late afternoon, bow-legged and unsteady,
He’d cycle out to put a halt to their mischief,
With a big, sturdy briar and a gruff “Yar!”
And lead them back up for the second milking.
The iron gate would clang shut
And he’d glance up and down warily,
Like a small country fearing unfriendly overtures.

One day visited an earnest man
With a clipboard and a pen
Who talked animatedly about something called
Health and Safety.
The oul’ lad nodded sagely
And spat on the ground amiably
And agreed completely
And helped him reverse back out the drive.
And life went on as before.

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