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The Black Shed

The black shed 
is gone now,
tumbled down
fifty years ago 
or more, but the name

A little field
too awkward
to plough, uneven-
shaped, but sheltered
with high hedges
and flaring furze; soon
early bite grows quick,
before milk-easing June.

Here mares 
foal down,
and many a heifer
heaved her young to earth.

A good place for birth.

Our first time ever foal
was dropped there,
one night in a sudden wild,
a summer storm.

Small Dermot rushed
the early morning news
                          but we
had felt her coming
in the wind's wet knocking.

Up and over 
lane and field
we went 
in the well-washed morning;

homed, by the hedge
the mare, contented, fat
sat back, like a dog
on her haunches.

And this new chocolate life
a clean licked 
catkin creature

Strut up;

High-headed as her dam
suede nostrils flickering
our hands our faces,
and noticed all this New,

O jade
O jewel,

This morning's miracle.

© Anne Le Marquand Hartigan

Now is a Moveable Feast

Anne Le Marquand Hartigan
Salmon Irish poetry
ISBN: 0 948339 55 1 Softcover

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