Patrick William Kavanagh
All Hallows Eve - Poem by Patrick William Kavanagh
The scratching on the kitchen door, the tapping on the window pane,
The sound of scuffling in the yard, The footsteps running down the lane,
It must be children at their pranks, you close your book and smile and shake your head,
It's almost midnight, time to snuff the candle out and rest your weary head.
The creaking of the wooden stairs is almost deafening as you slowly climb,
You make a promise to repair them for the thousandth time,
But yet another of your many idle, ill-used days has passed,
This job could stay undone, for all you know, this night may be your very last.
The crumpled sheets feel cold and damp, the ancient mattress squeals and groans,
Its rusty springs can barely take the weight of your old creaky bones,
The grimy fireplace long unlit, A dusty mirror that reflects the gloom,
The little cobwebbed window scarcely lets, the light in from the moon.
No bed-time prayers, for prayers have long ceased to mumble from your lips,
Too many losses, to which, a broken heart could never get to grips,
Just one long sigh, perhaps a silent wish to die, you close your weary eyes,
And through the cracked and dusty window, the moon looks down in pity from the skies.
And did you sleep, and dream what happened next, the mortal world will never know,
You saw the spectre of your long lost love in shining robes as white as snow,
She takes your hand and leads you to a place with sunlit trees and flowers in bloom,
Your cast-off shell is left behind, a smiling face amongst the gloom.
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