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‘The Visit’ – A Poem From The Pen Of Tom Ryan

The Visit

© Author & Poet Tom Ryan.

“Her old eyes sparkled to salute our arrival
At the quiet chalet, where she in her ninetieth year and alone,
Was captive, held by time.
The laughing good natured girl held her in gentleness,
Directing her faltering steps to the waiting Nissan Sunny.
Earlier, by the embers of a turf fire dying,
She had indifferently sipped the lukewarm tea,
Watching in silence the ancient chestnut trees outside
Yield their sap to the ways of time,
Old and gnarled and bare.
She had prayed with her friends ‘The Rosary’,
For himself now years long gone,
And herself and all she loved,
And the good days, too, thank God,
As she, frail-fingered again and again
Old Holy Communion photographs.
Black and white and musty-dusty, faded now
Sweet in their wistfulness,
Like a long lost summer of youth.
On the shelf by the bed and the fire
The Virgin’s statue in stone.
Consolation.
In the emptiness of time.
Fading now the ever retreating memories
Hard days slaning the stubborn bog with himself,
Billycan tea in the warm, sweet meadows of high summer,
The giggles and laughter of a crossroads ceili do
By the Devils’ Bit hill in Barnane.
The joy of a long and dignified togetherness
In a quiet intimacy,
Things to sugar the tea of thought with now.
Her niece in the Nissan Sunny, she brightly felt,
Could smile like the sun and her mother.
Ah, little it mattered where they’d go,
‘Twould put a homely, decent hour or two
Between herself and the loneliness.”

End.

Tom Ryan, “Iona”, Rahealty, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

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