by Michael Joyce
The prospect of a photo draws me in.
It’s the Achill road, sweep of rushes, calm
Vista of blue across Bellacrogher bay.
No trees. Just a lonely cluster of furze
Arched away from traffic and wind, yellow
Bloom, wood gnarled by memories and ghosts.
A single sheep, half-turned and branded blue,
Stares as I point and click. The ruins are framed
As one, Conway’s old place, walls ablaze
in a mottled grey and sandy montage,
once a shelter for my long-dead father,
sawing fallen branches. I catch his face,
resolute chin, sleeves rolled above elbows,
sweat-beads dewing on his taut arms, my eyes
spellbound by sawdust and rhythm, my body
willing arm-hair to match his lush wetness.
If this is how bonding happens, we’re forged
Forever in this roadside monument.
Michael Joyce practiced as a psychotherapist and group facilitator until his retirement a few years ago. A regular contributor to Just a Thought on Radio Kerry, his poems are included in a recent anthology of Kerry poets, Still in the Dreaming. A native of Mayo, he lives in Ballyheigue, Co. Kerry.