Raymond Farr

After Reading Heaney's Field Work

In a peat bog sodden with rain,
where we witness the specters of mud eels
writhing in the hard riddle of bog-splash,
we know nothing of what's befallen us.
Not even sunk in the bog could we know
how our dank lives slither with unknowing.
The eels mean nothing, an instance we stare at
and walk away from, calling it too common a sight,
the sheen of our lovemaking and ignorance
dulled by such a treacherous pause there.
But like old ghosts musing in Devenish pastures,
we too are concealed by the bog
and pity ourselves more than we ought.
A warm start today otherwise.
The horizon, marbled before dawn,
widened in the shale-tinted east,
implying consolation
like a bride shunning her girlhood
for her husband's sake.
And the husband, compelled by his love for her,
wonders at her transformation,
then sighs, having nothing
to compare it to but his father's tales.
Just now, he grooms himself before the vast mirror
of northern fields and bogs; he's just trampled home across them,
wearing the smile of some strange itinerant,
expecting some supper and a low fire in the hearth,
and clompish and muddy from work, stands over you
waiting for your attention. He bends to drop bob's your uncle
or bits of village gossip in the mudhole of your ear.
When his hands, cut up, and roughened by work,
tousle your uncombed hair as a taunt,
you smell the mud and the loam of his vicissitude.

Location: Ocala, Florida
Email: r.farr@worldnet.att.net
Publications: Poet Lore, Cider Press Review, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Concho River Review, Sulfur River Review, Crucible, etc.
Awards: 2nd Place Crucible's Literary Awards Competition

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