Father and Son

by F.R. Higgins

father-and-son-imageOnly last week, walking the hushed fields

Of our most lovely Meath, now thinned by November,

I came to where the road from Laracor leads

To the Boyne river–that seems more lake than river,

Stretched in uneasy light and stript of reeds.


And walking longside an old weir

Of my people’s, where nothing stirs–only the shadowed

Leaden flight of a heron up the lean air–

I went unmanly with grief, knowing how my father,

Happy though captive in years, walked last with me there.


Yes, happy in Meath with me for a day

He walked, taking stock of herds hid in their own breathing;

And naming colts, gusty as wind, once steered by his hand,

Lightnings winked in the eyes that were half shy in greeting

Old friends–the wild blades, when he gallivanted the land.


For that proud, wayward man now my heart breaks–

Breaks for that man whose mind was a secret eyrie,

Whose kind hand was sole signet of his race,

Who curbed me, scorned my green ways, yet increasingly loved me

Till Death drew its grey blind down his face.


And yet I am pleased that even my reckless ways

Are living shades of his rich calms and passions–

Witnesses for him and for those faint namesakes

With whom now he is one, under yew branches,

Yes, one in a graven silence no bird breaks.


1 Comment

Filed under Poem

One response to “Father and Son

  1. Bill Stuart

    Och a fine wee bittie o a poem.

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