Bernard Kennedy

(20 May 1956 / dublin)

The Gypsy camp fire

as I age i plumb the past, held
together in memory, in recall.
although how accurate that is i don't know- as
a mechanism, of fact, embroidered with
todays' emotions and need,
with association of thoughts, or smells,
of today, that fish it upwards,
like a wriggling thing.

i recall, set alight by the smell of
burning wood, a log, or turf,
the gypsy camp, some weeks flattened grass
and absence, another,
a canvas tent, a caravan, a horse,
a woman, with babe in arms peeping outwards,
the flap open and held back with twine from
a thrown away parcel from America.
a nativity scene in summer.
a man, dark and sultry, unknown, cigarette in mouth,
scraping the fire to light from ashes with a stick.
a horse stands beside the colored caravan,
resting, chewing grass.

walking with my young father past the corner of the country
road where the memory stalls. He sings' were here today
tomorrow away,
no trace we leave behind'
The camp fire, the smell, of burning twigs and open road.
and afterwards we take an ice cream, the walk done,
and he sings ' don't fence me in'.

Submitted: Saturday, April 05, 2014

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