Saturday, February 4, 2012

“The Musk of the Rugosa” © Mike Absalom January 23rd 2012

There were houses in there
Ivy trees and gone-wild roses
and musk-rich rugosas,
and thick hedges of weeping
fuchsia that pointed out the site.
An old man I met once on the sunken
bóithrín told me.
In there where the forestry
tide has risen,
flowing like black lava over
the village.
Dark shapes and memories
wedged in the darker places,
creepy as nightshade.

I cut my way in there,
in through the brambles once,
with a rose pruner,
and sat by a drain, my hands
and conversed with a robin.

There was another memory too.
A younger one.
I hang on to it, like an old
folded tight in my wallet
underneath the money.
Folded and fading in the
billfold like the snapshot of my first lover.

And others.
But they were painted in
and the years have bleached
them off the page.
But the musk of the rugosa
never fades.
Does it, dear?

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