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Plain Jane She Was
(15/07/56 / Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, Eire.)

Plain Jane She Was

Poem By Leah Ross

I follow the road
of my father’s voice

journey with him
along white roads...over green fields

barefoot
to school & back

(shoes if at all...worn only to church)

picking up the cuts & scabs
stubbed toes

his going to school
would entail

in the early years of the 1920’s
only so much history to me

real
to him


his toes
knowing the wind
in the grass

for what it is

his toes
clasping a rock
fording a stream

Irish & poems
bubbling through his head

babbling along
the tongue

words thrown to
those lost summer skies

startling a blackbird
spouting his poetry

with poetry
of his own

(3 miles to school...3 miles back)


his mind a skimmed stone
dancing along a river

over unforgiven
stones

thorns attacking his feet
with undisguised relish

the vehemence of glass
glinting greedily

for the next footstep

the menace
of the twisted rusty nail

& its treachery
betraying the next footfall

as he walks over
the unremitting years

into my eyes
wide with wonder

listening to him
tell of himself

as a little boy

to his little boy
the me of then

my eyes now

following the road
of my father’s voice

as it wanders
barefoot

through my tears
& memory.

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Comments (4)

'as it wanders barefoot through my tears & memory.' unforgettable - barefoot wandering through tears...i cannot find my shoes, too... as if i walked barefoot through all - it is so very well penned...
My Da always told me that he had to walk 5 miles to school every day, but that it was only three miles back home when school let out for the day (because of his joy at being out?) . I could never, ever have told this tale as well as you have, though, with such beauty and tenderness and love.
God...this is just such a beautiful poem. So tender! A love poem for your Dad! It's an amazing tour de force! And I know it is not a sad poem but it's beauty made me cry. All the times intertwining with him as the little boy and you the little boy hearing him tell of being a little boy...it's such a celebration of him and your love for him! It bursts the heart and overfloods the banks. Simply stunning! Wow! love Dee Dee
Oh my.... this is absolutely 'awesome', sorry for my leaning to that word but it is Donall. Awesome penning. I love it. HG: -) xx


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