Sean Godley

Rookie (17/11/1981 / Cavan, Republic of Ireland)

The Backward Roads - Poem by Sean Godley

take the backward roads the lady said
her face a sheet of moonlight ‘pon her head
and wrapped in rags that had once held her sons
they were all dead and gone she was alone
on the mountain in the swaying house
upon the steep ravine of icicles
that teetered so it seemed it might as well
just fall and crash at any second moment
and yet it never did and she did not
give this imminent catastrophe
a second thought as she had been there for
eighty six long years and as the house
had drifted from a place where it was safe
and on its way been beaten by the wind
that whipped and cracked to shatter flimsy walls
but managed only to take several bricks
and several sons who all fell to their death
into the crashing sea that stormed below
with waves that surged into the stormy sky
and crest with white spawned clouds that lit the night
like giant sheep safeguarding all the men
who lived in neighb’ring towns and villages
but none of whom would dare to even pass
along the beaten road that passed her house
where at the intersection lay the car
that one son had bought and never drove
because he fell into the crashing waves
but before he broke his supple neck
the car had rusted red and lost its wheels
and never moved far from that sacred spot
a younger brother caught a younger fox
and tied it with a chain to the exhaust
it ate the weeds and kept the gardens well
until one day it bit right through its chains
and ran amok and bit the sleeping sheep
that trawled across the sky in single file
they departed and were never back
but were remembered by the frosty nights
that were made cold by all the fiery stars
that kept no watch over the careless men
and when the last son fell unto his death
she rose her hands and jumped off after him
but the wind this time was kind and put
her back into her house but oh she knows
another cliff out by the backward roads


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Poem Edited: Tuesday, April 18, 2006


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