My father hid behind the newspaper
his head was always full
from eating words. Patient as an alligator
he knew the language of the world
but his house was dull.
No angry words were ever hurled
anywhere. My mother seldom saw his face
from her chair. The pull
of the garden too strong. Her place
being where worms worked an endless shift
of breathing life into soil.
She spoke to them. They got her drift.
Digging out a drill one day, her spade
unearthed a little box dressed in foil
something worms would not invade.
With hardened hands she flicked across the bolt.
A thousand words erupted from within,
words that gave her heart a jolt.
He lowered the news to glance beyond the sills,
perhaps reflecting if silence were a sin.
He saw her lying one broadsheet between the drills.
George Harding is from Cork. He has performed at many literary festivals around Munster. This poem is from My Stolen City, published in 2011. A new collection, Last Bus to Pewterhole Cross, is forthcoming in 2015.
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