The Black Shed

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

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
daylight
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
Stood,
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 1993

From Now Is A Moveable Feast, Salmon Poetry, 1993

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