Friday, September 29, 2006

The Harvest ~~ anna hood

On paydays when Pa didn't come home
Ma's high heels would beat a tattoo
from stove to back door as she flung
our supper into the yard.
Out would go the fish
the tatties and peas.
Pots, plates, forks and knives
heaved into the yellow porch light.
The dogs - we had 4 -
grinned on those Friday nights.

'The lot of you off to bed,' Ma'd say.
We'd climb into bed dirty,
little girl giggles ringin' from our tongues
free from the hated fish
free from the bath with the dreaded shampoo
Ma's fingers scrapin' and clawin' our heads
and us screechin' with the pain and shame of it all.
She'd holler up at us,
'I'll be up there after ye if ye don't quit
with yer carryin' on.' We'd cover our mouths
snortin' and chokin' with laughin'.

Pa'd come down the lane roarin' with the drink
singin' in his sweet tenor voice, some
sweet Irish tune that reminded him of home.
She'd be on him the minute his hand touched the door
cryin' and wailin' to beat the band.
Him full of apologies.
We'd listen from our big bed
knowing his hand
all callused and gentle
was strokin her hair
drying her eyes.
And promisin'
'By God! it'll never happen again my girl.
I swear.'

She'd forgive him of course
and later
after their laughter and murmurs stopped
we, my sisters and I, would sit
on the floor, elbows on the sill
watching the two of them
like faerie folk in the moonlight
harvesting pots and dishes
from the yard.

10 Comments:

Blogger jason evans said...

Simply amazing. You're a potent story teller in the poetic form. I feel like we're just over the line from each other, me on the prose side and you on the poetry side. Not very different.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Roberta said...

One of my all time favorites Anna!

I love this pa and ma!

12:16 PM  
Blogger anna said...

Thanks Jason (( blushing here ))
I take that as a huge compliment!

And Roberta this is one of my all time favourites too. thanks for reading it again>

12:46 PM  
Blogger Shadowrite said...

This is one of your best, Anna. Full of the wonderful characterization you so easily imbue into the people that light up your poetry. Love it!

3:42 PM  
Blogger Kajgreb said...

As I have already said, PUBLISH!!!!
Jack

5:18 PM  
Blogger Susan Abraham said...

Hi Anna,

A beautiful narrative poem, this!
Where as I see it, even in the slight heat of hostility and the ups-and-downs of life, love thrives!

Your poems reflect deep thoughts and feelings from ordinary situations that may otherwise seldom be visible.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Atyllah said...

Oops, I think I lost the last post...
Lovely, brilliant stuff, Anna - a story in a poem. You paint such vivid pictures with words and your characterisation is superb.
Beautifully done!

11:45 PM  
Blogger anna said...

Jas, You have been reading my stuff without fail for over 10 years! my god can it be that long? I always always appreciate you.
Jack, You too over 10 years!! & oh pish! Publish Smublish I will if you will.
Susan glad you could see past the
surface troubles to the bone deep inner love that was there
and Atyllah,I never knew chickens were so damned smart - and caring - and funny!!
thank you all bunches of
Bannannas

4:04 AM  
Blogger Bernita said...

So sweet and vivid.
Jack is absolutely right. Why are these gems not out there for others to enjoy?
You are one hellofa poet.

12:27 PM  
Blogger anna said...

Again thanks Bernita for stopping by. Your comments mean a lot to me!

3:55 AM  

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