Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Laneway

You look back as if into a rear-view image
of Ireland. Seams of light and dark overlap hedge,

stone and field where cows snub noses into turf
Tall grasses yield the return of spring. The wind
sounds like a flute playing, and intermittent farm
houses in unkempt orchards are barely seen.
On a two lane highway, you pit-stop
for a moment,
hands firmly clenched on lunch, sweets, drinks.
Coke and juice move quickly through your esophageus,

at least that's the way the body tells it.  Now, the
bladder cramps as one forty kilometres slowly pass
from Westport to An Longfort. No service station in sight, 
no verge on this one way street, until a laneway! 
Time to depress all that liquid into knotweed, the
mind giving you this one clear thought between
pleasure and relief. You're like
a dog wanting to put 
down its scent until a grey car arrives, blocks you in;
farmer or landowner jerking your lead. Shades of dark 
sun glasses walk towards the car. It's not the owner
it's "The Garde!" You're the Australian abroad, caught
well before bare tail reaches Irish soil. Crikey!
Two men approach, clean cut, one stares into the open
window tells you farms are being robbed. You're acting
suspicious. You confess, tall grasses are a great
cover for a tinkle. Wry smiles are withheld under
peaked caps, they hardly stop to blink, back away 
in their unmarked car. You walk into the lane's interior, 
squat long enough to count five cows swishing tails
like batons, black eye patches staring you down.

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Evangelyne
Published by Australian Poetry Centre, Melbourne

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Helen Hagemann's first literary collection, Evangelyne & other poems, was published by the Australian Poetry Centre in their New Poets Series 2009. She has two e-books, The Joyous Lake & Par écrit: poetry of the feminine @ http://issuu.com/evangelyne/​​docs/joyous_lake/

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