Poetry | Joan Howson’s Cottage by Michael Henry

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Michael Henry


Joan Howson’s Cottage

This is Black Rock Sands that
…………my parents walked to
from their honeymoon hideaway.
Those are the footprints they left
…………on the sand.
That is the black dog that ran up
…………to my mother
and my father shooed down to the sea,
…………down to the sea.

And this is Tyn-y-Mynydd where they stood
…………
immense in the doorway,
my mother looking up with wide-open
…………
Just Married eyes.
Those are the tumblers of ship’s-bottle glass
from which they drank
…………
bitter lemon cordials.
And that’s my mother’s chignon that streamed
…………
unloosed in a waterfall.

This is my father, holiday-handy,
…………lightly moustached;
and that’s the tender moment when they held
…………tentative hands.
The nicest thing I could ever have heard
…………was their I love you, I love you.
But that is the black dog that kept running
down to the sea and back,
…………down to the sea and back.

And my father had to loosen their tentative hands
…………
to chase it away.

 

Michael Henry has had four collections published by Enitharmon Press and one with Five Seasons Press. In 2011 he won the Hippocrates Open Prize for a Medical Poem.


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