“And evening found her thus…”
The wind blows on a rusty
harmonica of hinges.
The music of rasp and moan
as the gate hangs open
lamenting the loss of summer,
waiting for someone to return.
In his absence, the garden
has grown wild from neglect.
His wife hasn’t pruned the roses
or pulled weeds near the fence
which has left a border of ragged lace
like the hemline of her gown
as she walks the field at dusk.
Its stitching drags along the ground
where some of the soil loosens
sliding into a ditch. She cries thinking
of that trench — trembling with lamplight
and a soldier who writes on a piece
of butcher paper. The script dark
and scattered. Desperate. His black birds
pecking at the crust of a letter.
This weekend, we honor the end of WWI. One of the poets from that era was Irish writer, Francis Ledwidge. He wrote not only of war but also of nature, often blackbirds appeared in his poems. Thus, he became known as “The Blackbird Poet”. This poem imagines a woman who loved him, waiting for his return from the front.