Academic journal article Antipodes

In an Antrim Field

Academic journal article Antipodes

In an Antrim Field

Article excerpt

At dawn she creeps, slipperless from bed with its warm,

yeasty smell, across the slate beyond the door to the cold field

where the horse, still as a stone horse, flares its smoking nostrils

and wakes to the long shadow of itself.

Fulfilling the dream she watches the mare's twitching tail,

the silage releasing its steam. She sucks the dew from the top

strand of barbed wire. It tastes of ice cream.

Daddy, long awake, calls "Come inside. Take your tea,"

as the first birds curoo curoo towards the knuckled hills.

He has never been further than twenty miles from this fence:

He can name no place in the world better than the middle

of an Antrim field in the soft rain at dawn.

Still she stands at the fence, flecks of old wool like snow

caught on the barbs, her feet wet with glistening grass

her gaze looking out and away. …

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